I prefer pine trees to streetlights, sandstone canyons to big cities, the sound of birds in the morning to a crowded concert at night, or a simple meal next to a campfire to fine dining with linens. You can find me backcountry skiing in the mountains of Utah, mountain biking on desert single track, sketching in my journal while out hiking, or painting in my shipping container art studio in an aspen grove outside of Park City, UT. Working in encaustic, I capture images of the West with pigment and wax. I am an avid dreamer, writer, and traveler, and I enjoy capturing moments of time and preserving them in wax.

My favorite thing in the world is to be out in nature, observing, experiencing and moving. Being an artist has allowed me a life where being outside is a critical part of the job. I tell people it’s a perk to spend so much time outdoors, but honestly my art would not be what it is with the hours spent observing clouds, the changing weather, the shifting light, the slow progression of the seasons. Being present in the elements directly informs the work that I make. My goal is not to create picture perfect landscapes, in fact a photographer would be far better suited than I to capture what a place looks like. I am far more interested in capturing a fleeting moment – clouds pinned to the sky, the wind as it blows snow off a tree, the light as it hits the earth.

My main medium is encaustic and I create these paintings by layering beeswax and other mixed media to create atmospheric landscapes that have a three-dimensional affect in a 2D space. I mostly paint alpine landscapes, foggy trees, and snow-covered mountains, but sometimes I paint farms, fields of grass on the edge of forests, and beaches heavy with ocean breezes.

At the end of November I opened a new show at Gallery MAR, in Park City, UT called “Forging Ahead.” This new show explores what it is like to step into the unknown, to go even when you are uncertain of what lies ahead, to trust that the path forward continues. It is a reflection of what the early adventurers in the West must have felt to discover this land as well as what we are currently going through as a nation – that we must go forth and find a way despite the fear and uncertainty of what may be. Because forward is the only way we can go.

This winter I continue to explore that theme, especially with regards to the moment before you go, the moment you decide, right before you drop in to ski a slope, before you head off down a new trail, before you take risk in pursuit of an adventure, when you stake it all to follow your dreams. It is this exact moment when we cast off our fears and become our bravest selves.