Photo by: Bazhnibah Photography
I am Diné, from Mariano Lake, NM. I am born into the Edgewater People, for the Deer Spring Band. I state this because being Diné is part of who I am. I am proud of this, it is one of the many influences in my work.
I am a 1995 graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts. I have been blessed with many amazing teachers and mentors on this journey.
I have been creating art for as long as I can remember. My work is influence by many things. I am of course influenced by my Diné traditions and upbringing. The traditional ceremonies I am apart of influence me. I am however more than Diné. I am a man that lives and works in two worlds, the Diné world and the modern world I encounter every day. The colors, people, sites, smells, and sounds of both these worlds influence and inspire me. I am a husband, a father, a son, and a brother. These facets of my life all impact my work.
I am pulled to create abstract work. As I create a piece it takes on a life of its own. I find that my daily life seeps into my abstract pieces. I start each piece by building the first layer which acts a as a base of color. I often work with modeling paste in that base to provided texture. When I work with modeling paste I am reminded that life is full of texture, depth, and feelings. I then apply layer upon layer in one corner and let the painting grow, come to life. The colors in the pieces reflect my emotions. The feelings I experienced in a ceremony, or felt at a beautiful sunset. I add paper and wood and leaves to provide texture and depth. Sometimes the piece comes together within hours sometimes weeks. In all cases, I know the piece is done when I can walk away and not feel pulled to add more layers.