Family history, stories, southern traditions, and a blue collar aesthetic are all influences for my work. I am drawn to the idea of the “blue collar” ideal; that of making something with your hands and the ability to maintain it. Waking up each morning ready to take care of what needs to get done, and going to bed at night knowing you did all you could. This subject began with Granddad Bolton, a brick mason who raised German Shorthaired Pointers in his free time. Together with his brother-in-law Uncle Tom Lee, they trained the dogs, took them out for maneuvers, but never actually hunted. The connection, the bond, they had with their dogs was true (as is with most southern men/families and their dogs.) The dogs have come to represent the “Blue Collar Aesthetic” within my works. I use mostly sporting dogs, as that is what I am most familiar with, to convey the “work” aspect. Their willingness, ability, and pleasure to do what they are meant to do, day after day, anticipating nothing more than a “good boy” and maybe a treat in return.
Imagery is pulled from old family photos, historical hunting pictures and ads, as well as stories and old southern lore. I use ledger paper from my father-in-laws veterinary practice, and pages from old story books and school books, as-well-as letters, receipts, and notices to create backgrounds, upon which, I then use charcoal to lay in the images. Acrylic paint, oil paint, ink, graphite, furniture wax and clear-coat are all used to complete the paintings.