As a landscape artist, the most thrilling times in my life are discovering spectacular scenes with dramatic lighting and nature’s perfect composition, merging momentarily for my private pleasure. That’s why I live to paint!
One of my favorite times to scout is right before or immediately after a rainstorm. Clouds rise and twist in abstract shapes and the sun breaks through, highlighting a meadow of wildflowers or the foliage lining a riverbank. Nature seldom provides trees or rocks exactly where I want them; so, artistic license allows my creativity to intervene and design my own spectacular moments in the studio.
The locale of art show exhibitions and galleries influence my choice of scenery to pursue. I’m especially drawn to aspen groves, red rock canyons, Arizona desert scenes, and the waterways in remote mountainous regions.
Painting Plein Air allows me to capture the immediate values and colors on-site. I photograph to record landscape detail. My paintings evolve from on-location sketches, photography, and several thumbnail pencil sketches, which insure a powerful composition. Water-soluble oils have been a lifesaver for me. Acrylic dried too fast, and fumes from traditional oils caused health problems. Plein Air painting in the rain with water-soluble paint is challenging though; the paint smears easily, even in a light shower. Drying time is within a day.
I enroll periodically in workshops from artists, whose work I admire, including the following: Jim Wilcox, Scott Christensen, Jim Lamb, Ralph Oberg. All of these artists stress the importance of design in a painting. As a result, I am more conscious of the design of each element in my paintings- a rock, tree, or cloud, as well as the negative space in the entire composition.
If there was one word to describe my artwork, it would be entitled, peaceful. I hear this often from both former and prospective clients. As a counter-reaction to our stressful world, my clientele appreciate the serenity and light play in my work; it provides them with a quiet escape into nature. That’s exactly how I feel when I’m sketching the moment on location.
My studio paintings have metamorphosed from extreme, realistic detail to a much softer, looser approach. Plein Air sketching has greatly influenced my style and increased my enjoyment immensely. As I ease into another stage of my life, appreciating every moment of work and play is of keen importance.