I grew up on the banks of a small river in Central Pennsylvania. Most of the year I was in, under, or on the water; fishing, swimming, canoeing, and snorkeling. Being immersed in and involved with nature has always been important to me. The need to slow down and appreciate the natural world as well as make some attempt to help save it has become a central part of my art. I use watercolors to paint fish and other creatures of the underwater realm. Watercolor seems to be the best choice for my subjects. The medium and the fish that I paint intersect; wet paint for wet animals, living in a wet world. Painting for me is both a purposeful and a meditative act. I want my work to assist with the conservation of our planet’s natural resources. I am happy to have found a way to realize this by helping to raise funds for localized conservation efforts in the Birds Head Seascape with both Conservation International and the Misool Foundation. Painting also allows me to slow down my world and lets me relax. I enjoy watching wet pigment spread across the page to form new opportunities. I welcome the challenge of building definite images from layers of color with vague and nebulous boundaries. Painting for me is like piecing together a puzzle or playing chess with the image; constantly problem solving, and seeking the opportunities within each brushstroke until the picture is finished. As a diver I am drawn to the denizen’s of the seas and oceans. Coral reef’s are a fantastic overload of visual stimuli. It takes a while to learn to unpack and pick apart such a wild tapestry of motion, shapes, textures and colors. I believe that portraying individual fish on simple white backgrounds will bring their beauty and complexity forward for the viewer to consider unhindered; like setting a gemstone on display. I hope that by doing so people will consider not only the myriad patterns and colors that make up these animal’s appearance but also the routines and relationships each one of these fish has within the ecosystem it inhabits. Showing the beauty and variety that exists in one small piece of a reef can help emphasize the tremendous diversity present in such an environment. In the Bird’s Head Seascape there are at least 59 known endemic fish species. What other new discoveries await us in this swirling concentration of ocean life? Every living thing is an important part of the earth’s biological heritage and should be celebrated; whether it is a 2 meter long Napoleon Wrasse or a 2cm long goby. Each fish I paint I see as a living jewel, and I hope that I can get the viewer to consider that perspective.