Painting, for me, is a chance to explore alternate views of reality. My intention is not to paint a particular place but to create a mood, to encourage the viewer to daydream, to remember, to invent a story. The idea is to communicate a sensation of a beautiful or interesting place. Composition, light and shadow, color and texture, all help to set the stage to tell the story.
Working on location and from life sketches allows me to study composition and color and make paintings that become more than a picture of an actual subject. Natural scenes are a starting point for depicting a range of emotions using various color themes and compositions. Trees, woods, mountains, beaches and any body of water all have the ingredients for interesting paintings. The light tells the story and sparks the imagination.
The design and feeling of a landscape or figurative painting often start with charcoal and chalk on toned paper sketches. Studio abstracts can evolve from finding design in the spontaneous application of paint and going where it takes me or careful planning based on sketches and reference photos. I use acrylics, oils, or watercolors. Paint is applied on canvas, watercolor paper, or prepared wood panels with brushes, palette knives, improvised tools and sometimes bare hands using techniques from washes, glazes and spattering to thick impasto. Finished paintings are protected with varnish.