My pieces are influenced by my experience and contact with various cultures. Over the years the influence of Asian culture has had strong a strong impact on my work, not just in terms of subject matter but in terms of the use of space and aesthetics. My work has been influenced by my extensive travels both within the United States and overseas. I've lived throughout the US, and have also lived in Europe and Africa. I attended graduate school at the University of Hawaii, and then moved to Japan in 1990. Since that time I have spent nearly 10 years living in Japan, immersing myself in the language and culture, which has strongly influenced my work.
Some of my works over the years have been based on Japanese Ukiyo-e and Meiji Era prints. In these I've borrowed the elegant patterns and flowing kimono designs, but added more complexity, roundness and color that can't be had with a block print. While Ukiyo-e were prints, I've done mine in watercolor, acrylic, and pen & ink, allowing a richer gamut of color, more free flowing design and depth.
I tend to use a lot of ink pen in my work, especially with architectural drawings. I love the use of line, and the texture created by the use of lines. I've heard it said that there is a difference artistically between line and stroke (the brush), and yet pen work contains elements of both. The use of line in a pen & ink drawing and etchings creates interesting texture and definition that I've always been "drawn" to.
Some artists who have influenced me are Rembrandt, Picasso, MC Escher, Rene Magritte, Victor Hugo, and Monet. There are also lesser known contemporary artists who have influenced me, like Bob Costain, and Richard Nichols at the airbrush stand in Waikiki, and Tom Brown from Baltimore. Although name dropping of well known artists both deceased and contemporary displays a historical knowledge of the field and imparts a sense of educated well roundedness, it's the lesser known everyday artists, street artists full of grunge and vigor whose real and immediate labors of love inspire me the most on a daily basis. Seriously.