Fly Mask series

Fly Mask series


A few notes on what may initially look like blindfolded horse paintings

Fly masks, though somewhat menacing looking, actually help protect a horse’s face and ears from pesky, biting, disease spreading flies and mosquitos. If you know how annoying one or two flies buzzing around your head can be, imagine if you had no hands to wave one hundred flies away, and you get an idea of what a horse might go through, sans mask. Especially in the summer months.

And if you happen to be wondering ( just like I was), the horse can indeed see through them because they’re made of mesh. It would be like us looking through a screen door.

I'm using the masks in this work as a universal symbol for protecting oneself from excessive, external irritants and distractions. More of a "shield" that helps invite small doses of calm and focus into one's life, while still being a part of it.

The mask themselves also served to provoke an artistic challenge within my work...

Prior to this series, I came to the conclusion that pushing myself to work outside my artistic comfort zone is the most direct, albeit nerve wracking, way I know to create authentic, truthful work.

With the Fly Mask paintings, that meant discarding the comfort (and habit) of relying on the animal's expression to evoke a sense of connection with the viewer. In essence, I challenged myself to remove what I’ve been told is the "heart" of my work for the last 15 years—the animal’s eyes and face—in an attempt to see what developed in it's place.

(View the Fly Mask paintings)