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Watercolor illustration of an average American family having a backyard BBQ. The dad in chef's hat and apron is grilling, while mom and 3 kids are standing around waiting for the food.  The family pets are also there attracted by the delicious smell of hamburgers and hot dogs.
**click illustration to enlarge**
(watercolor on paper, 9X9, 2003)

"All American BBQ"

Abraham Lincoln once said "the Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why He made so many of them." I would have to respectfully disagree with President Lincoln, because I don't believe that there is such a thing as being common-looking. Only people who don't bother to spend enough time to find something special about their fellow human beings can call others common-looking. I believe if one actually looks and studies somebody else's face he will without a doubt discover something beautiful and unique about that person.

I, personally, have always been fascinated with facial expressions people make. I also find fascinating that any, (however mundane), life situations could be interesting or even humorous when I pay attention to little details. I love carefully observing how people interact with one another and I've noticed that their words or actions oftentimes don't correlate with the emotions on their faces.

As a society we are conditioned to behave in certain ways. We are trained from childhood that in many cases it's better not to allow ourselves to say what's truly on our minds. However, our faces are not as adept at concealing our emotions and frequently tend to betray their owners' true feelings. For example, a man who is trying to show interest when his girlfriend is talking about an anti-wrinkle cream has as much of a chance of faking it as a woman who is pretending to enjoy a hockey game with her husband; their faces will say it all whether they like it or not.

I try capturing everyday moments like that in my artwork. I know that there are more 'glorious' subjects an artist can depict, but since I enjoy observing everyday life (such as a family having a backyard BBQ, for example), and find it quite amusing I prefer to create artwork that reflects my views.

"Whether I'm painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity. Even if I'm not working, I'm still analyzing people."
Alice Neel

"Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in."
Amy Lowell

"An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation."
Joseph Conrad