Ever since I was a young boy, I have experienced vivid, outlandish dreams. Recurring themes and characters from these dreams have evolved into my own personal mythology. Landscapes and creatures I would visit and interact with on a nightly basis eventually found their way into my waking hours via the pencils and paper my schoolteachers provided me.
Supplementing the influence of my dreams (and likely influencing the dreams as well) were the books my mother gave me to read. Illustrated stories and poetry by Maurice Sendak, Richard Scarry, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry were favorites, and injected humor and whimsy into the stories and scenarios I would create. My father, a man of science, taught me about astronomy and paleontology. This instilled me with a deep sense of wonder about the history of our planet, as well as the cosmos beyond. As I got older, I discovered the artwork of Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel and Salvador Dali, the films of David Lynch and the stop-motion wizardry of Ray Harryhausen, which all were hugely influential as well.
Today my dreams continue to inspire my artwork. And much like when I was a child, I will let the images spill out initially without engaging a heavy thought process. But as a painting develops, my main focus becomes finding the perfect balance of humor and horror and presenting the images as though they were stills from a movie. Or a dream.