My involvement in the art business has now spanned over 40 years.
I began as a picture framer, then worked alongside an art restorer, became an art dealer, and about 25 years ago, began to draw and paint. In my career, I've been fortunate to have seen remarkably good works of art and met some of the best painters in the field.
My focus is the landscape and its rich store of ideas and inspiration. I am compelled to work from the trees, skies, lakes and streams in their endless variations. I don't try to recreate nature (even Monet said he never got it right) or attempt storytelling. Instead, the works are simplifications and exaggerations of nature. There was a time when I felt the tyranny of the landscape. That is, I felt limited by making pictures of a place. Now, instead of making pictures, I am free to make paintings - art that comes from nature but is far more reliant on the strategies of making good art objects.
Fortunately, I've learned that what some would call mistakes are part of the creative process. So, I try to begin boldly, not worrying about mistakes, using more color than might exist in nature, and varying the types of chroma and marks. During the process, I allow my vision and the inevitable missteps to become a part of the emerging image. Some of these missteps will be eliminated and the more delicious ones are incorporated into the process as unintended surprises."
Painting is not a linear, start to finish process for me. I typically have a number of paintings and pastels in progress in the studio. I welcome interruptions. They are also part of the process. If the phone rings, I'm talking and looking at other paintings, gazing out the window, or at photos in the mail order catalog. Sometimes the very solution I'm seeking is found that way. Otherwise, I might continue to focus on the singular canvas in front of me and miss a chance to make it better. All the paintings and little images in view feed each other, offering solutions and more problems. Those paintings that make it out the door have come to a good but sometimes torturous conclusion.
Making monotypes is the culmination of all that I know and all I can do focused into making a picture in an hour and a half or less. The paper is soaking, the printer is waiting and the plates are blank, wanting to do their magic in the press. In a full day at the printers, I can only get five to seven good prints. Once the first marks are made, the day is a blur of creative energy. There is the banter and flow with the printer, the smell of the papers and inks, the music in the background, and the plates: two per print, in an endless progression. The day goes by quickly and precious few prints are made. It seems a shame to clean and pack up so soon!
Tomorrow in the studio, perhaps new oils and pastels will emerge and come to completion and next week, perhaps another date at the printers. The fun of it all is that sometimes the pastels become new oils, oils become slightly different prints, prints become entirely new oils. All of nature is altered, perfected, abstracted. When you run out of variations to an idea, you can go back to nature where all the ideas and colors for a lifetime are always waiting.