I hail from a small village in Michigan's Upper Peninsula once known for its copper mining--an area where the winter snows run deep and traditions deeper. The people form a unique cultural identity--hardy, self-reliant, self-minded. A Finnish term "Sisu" is often used to describe their psyche. My heritage is Norwegian, Swedish and English (Cornish). While I moved from the area many years ago, I still consider it home. The impact the area and its people have had on my development as an artist and free-thinker is profound.
Importance of family has also been a significant influence in my development as a person and artist. It's of a belonging, of traditions, of heritage. Much of my artistic expression and inspiration is based in some manner on family, their occupations and life events.
I prefer the metaphor of a family fabric over that of a family tree. While trees appropriately represent branches of a family spreading from a single trunk, threads bring an intertwining of diverse people together into one fabric. A single family cloth woven from individual threads. These threads of different ages, colors, sizes, textures, weights, compositions, dispositions, some coarse, some soft, some artificial, some natural, some long, some short, some thin, some stout----together are bound as one----family.