INSPIRATION: Something in nature calls out to me. It tells me to stop, to look, to really see. I obey. And suddenly I am pulled into a world where a pink baby rose piggybacks on its mother, an empty nest yawns wide with possibility, a flower sighs before it begins to fade, grasses whisper to each other, and koi wait for rays of sun to light up their world. When I paint, I live these intimate moments over and over, and when the painting is done, I invite you into my world.
PROCESS: All things in nature move, change, and evolve and the same is true for me. Sometimes I define a work with pencil lines and stay within those lines as I paint. Other times I paint outside the lines, letting myself be moved by what I see in front of me rather than responding to my initial idea. And lately, I have started to dispense entirely with lines, letting the subject and the colors define where they want to go. Just as there is no better or worse in nature – a budding rose is as beautiful as a fading one –there is no better or worse in my paintings. Sometimes the lines define clearly a moment I want to preserve. Sometimes I need no lines and just convey a mood. The important thing is that I can change, evolve, grow, and trust my own inner nature.
I have been a professional artist for more than forty years. I work now primarily in oils and have been most focused on images inspired by nature. My work of the past thirty years has ranged from close, detailed impressions of individual plants, fruits, animals or other natural elements to broad views of wetlands, water gardens and distant landscapes.
There is a certain intuitive flow that is important to me, either as a personal interpretation of natural balance or as a way to imply motion in the case of birds or fish. This in company with a vivid rendering of color, which I sometimes alter from precise reality to suit my designs, are the cornerstones of my work. My work appears realistic but, in fact, is not an actual copy of a natural scene.
The subjects of my work are taken from field observation, although I do not exactly reproduce any particular view. I prefer to photograph, sketch and watch subjects through the hours of a day, eventually arriving at what I feel is an essence, perhaps adding or subtracting from what I see. I now see my career as a series of new expansions followed by the refinement of long periods of physical application. Influences upon my work have included early experience in sculpture, valuable advice from a community of more experienced artists and an understanding that this profession is a journey involving hard work as well as inspiration.