Q: Where do you draw your imagery from?
JS: “A lot of it I draw from my daily life, different areas of landscape that resonated with me. Some inspiration I draw out of my head based off what I have seen or images from my studio.”
Q: Do you enjoy painting during a specific time of day?
JS: “Dawn; the only problem is it comes so early. It’s quiet and I love the colors, there is something peaceful and serene about that time of day.”
Q: What kind of things do you have in your studio that inspire you?
JS: “I keep a background of photographs in my studio, however, primary inspiration comes from my heart. Painting is not a depiction but an expression or an interpretation. As an artist references are necessary but its important that nothing interferes with my expression.”
Q: I have noticed that most of your landscapes are void of life, most notably human life. Are you trying to create a dichotomy between man and nature? And if so why?
JS: “Im trying to capture a different feeling about nature, depict, express a more spiritual or symbolic or transcendental quality. If an animal or human works or contributes to that piece than I will include it, otherwise I will leave it out. Ultimately I am trying to embrace a more abstract quality, capture its essence rather than its image.”
Q: How do you develop your ground?
JS: “In my work an underlying ground shines through in order to gain a sense of luminosity. I apply thin layers, maintaining a sensitivity to the application of paint. I try to start from large unified shapes and then work to separate them out, to make them more individualized. This method of creating a composition helps to unify elements, they seem as though they are flowing seamlessly into one another. I use the ground to work on top of a single tone of color, like that color shining through represents an underlying unity to the images, something beyond the images that connects all the individual parts.”
Q: If you could summarize your practice in two sentences what would they be?
JS: “I don’t want to paint the light on things. I want to paint the light that became things.”