It is difficult to narrow all of the influences on my art down to a simple list. My childhood influences include Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak who are responsible for my love of monsters, creatures, and all things phantasmagorical. I was also influenced by the art of John Byrne, Barry Windsor-Smith, and other comic illustrators. It is these artists that have given my work its illustrative character.
Ancestral art, e.g. African, Celtic, and Native American craft, have given me my love of masks, pattern, and knotwork, while Surrealist artists, such as Dali and Magritte, have bestowed a love of whimsy and juxtaposition.
Subsequent influences include the works of Matisse, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. More recently, the works of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Kehendi Wiley have made a significant impact and moved me toward the use of stencil-like imagery and portraiture.
My current works explore imagery ranging from pop-cultural iconography to natural representation. Using oil pastel with latex, acrylic and / or enamel paint to create layers of color, I then use a knife to cut the paint to reveal the underlying colors. Color and shape actuate these stylized images while subtle patterns softly emerge.
This is a method that I discovered while teaching High School art. I have not decided on a name for it but call it simply Pastel Resist. During a show in North Carolina, a reporter dubbed this technique “The McCarthy Method.”
While I would not be so presumptuous as to call it that, it was quite flattering.
I have created Art for as long as I can remember. My earliest creative memory is copying pictures of the Avengers- Captain America, Iron Man, Thor... I loved comics and animations. I believe that these influences are why I cherish VanGogh so much. His bold use of line and color has a graphic quality that I respond to. When Star Wars first came out, I began trying to learn how to draw everything I could from the movie. TIE Fighters, X-Wings, Darth Vader… While Science-Fiction held an interest for me. It was Star Wars that hooked me. Through these visual exercises, I taught myself how to line, shape and color to create imagery.
I participated in the Art program throughout middle and high school, where I was exposed to a range of media including watercolor, acrylic, and clay. University opened me up to stone sculpture, printmaking, and oil painting. Teaching Art in public schools for the past 25 years has given me opportunities to expand my artistic horizons further. It was here that I began using Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. Instructing students in drawing and painting techniques has strengthened my skills and it is through teaching wax-resist that I discovered my current medium- Pastel Resist.