“As a painter, I am attracted to the Renaissance technique of chiaroscuro, strong contrasts in illumination between light and dark areas. Black velvet enhances this effect and also provides textural features you can not get on canvas.
When I started studying black velvet painting, I came across paintings by Edgar Leeteg. They completely changed my perception of velvet art because I was used to matadors, big-eyed children and Elvis. Leeteg did mostly portraits of Tahitian people using chiaroscuro with stunning effect. In my work, I am trying to change people’s perception of black velvet art just as Leeteg’s work affected mine.
I started teaching myself velvet painting in 2007 and I made a pilgrimage to The Velveteria in 2008 which was a life-changing experience. Hundreds of velvet paintings covered their walls in all different styles. My mind felt like it expanded like the big bang! I discovered other masters such as Cece Rodriguez, Daniel Guerrero, Burke Tyree and Louis Behan. 10 years later, I have several pieces in The Velveteria in downtown Los Angeles.
My work has been shown in Tucson, Bisbee, Phoenix, Mexico, Colorado, Los Angeles and Miami. I’m inspired mostly by contrasts in light and dark and texture, or just about anything that makes me think, “that will look great on velvet!”