My paintings are made in response to things I see in the natural world. They capture a place at a particular time. And they capture a moment in my sensibility. My overriding goal as a painter is to create a work, an artifact if you will, that resonates with the spirit of the landscape that inspired me to begin painting.
It’s hard for me to say exactly why one location inspires me to paint, and another equally beautiful or seemingly interesting location is easily passed by without a second look. But it’s impossible to resist the urge when the right subject matter comes before me. It’s almost a magnetic attraction. I’m instantly drawn in and I simply must paint. Sometimes it’s the color, sometimes the light, sometimes simply the line of a distant ridge. Whatever it is that causes me to stop, to look, and perhaps to make a mark on paper or canvas, I’m deeply grateful for the gifts of inspiration that I’m given.
Once the painting begins, my most important job is to keep my intellect out of the way and let the painting happen. Since I’m not concerned with making a literal rendition of the scene but rather an accurate record of what I sensed when looking at the landscape, my decision making process is necessarily different than that of most artists. I don’t need to make it look right. I need to make it feel right. Occasionally while I’m working on a painting in my studio I can almost smell the rain, feel the sun, or hear the wind. When that happens I know I’m on the right track. In the best of times the painting almost paints itself.
My work’s greatest pleasure comes when I’m in the thick of the battle to let a painting emerge. I have my issues. What color next to that? Another line here? Take that out? Greater abstraction? Less complexity? More complexity? Simply painting, watching, concentrating, staying thoroughly engaged, alive. Not thinking. Just doing. Eventually, over hours, weeks, sometimes months or even years the problems slip away. Finally there is nothing left for me to do. There is nothing to be added, nothing to be eliminated, nothing to be altered in the least. It is accomplished. The work now resonates with the sense of place that I recognized and responded to initially. C’est fini! A painting now exists.