My work broadly encompasses many aspects of the sea–the beauty, drama and power of the ocean; the environmental threats to the eco system and the fisheries; and the sea that supports the livelihood of families.
Songs for My Father is an ongoing series of landscape and seascapes in various media, dedicated to my late father, a Norwegian commercial tuna fisherman. I painted the landscape, a long-standing Nordic subject, in and around Acadia National Park, Maine, during the 1980’s, and have worked on Monhegan Island during the summers since 1995. In winter 1999, while an artist-in-residence at Weir Farm, a national historic site administered by the National Park Service, in Wilton, CT, I began to explore the woodlands as a complement to the seacoast. In 2001, I was a visiting artist at Weir Farm.
Sanger Fra Mor (Songs from My Mother) is an ongoing narrative comprising paintings, monotypes, and graphic works often in diptych and tripych formats, juxtaposing marine imagery with sea-related iconography. Working across media in paintings, watercolors, drawings and monotypes I use commercial fishing, oral history and nostalgic images to explore memory, identity and maritime history. For both series, I draw upon my life experience, my family’s history and my experiences both as a young boy aboard ship with my father, and as a crewmember on a commercial fishing vessel. Summer trips to Monhegan Island, Maine where I paint outdoors as well as research the resources of the Monhegan Museum provide additional inspiration,
In my studio practice I make oil paintings and works on paper, including monotypes. My imagery develops from direct landscape and studio painting, photography, and memories. I often work in series, using repetition, simplification and variation of image and media, to structure narratives. My monotypes combine old and new technology in multiple layers–computer editing, digital printing and traditional printmaking methods, including lithography, silkscreen, woodblock, linoleum cut, and handwork. The layering of these processes serves as a metaphor for memory.
In my work, the persistence of memory, stages of life, the environmental crisis, and the empty ocean are thematic subtexts.