I am drawn to the landscape most frequently as subject matter.  Sometimes I find that one painting leads to another and though I always look forward to new places, I tend to return to places where I have had a positive experience or a struggle. My favorite studio is out of doors.  Painting becomes a way to communicate how I feel about nature and the lessons I can learn. I also believe that plein air painting over the years has enriched my paintings completed in the studio.

Inspiration often comes while driving down roads where I haven’t been before or revisiting favorite places. I sometimes take pictures or sketch, particularly if it is likely I will not be able to return or stay long enough to complete a canvas.  Photos are also best for uncomfortable spots (very windy, rainy, no bathroom) or situations that have limited time for plein air such as sunsets.

I paint on a toned canvas (usually an “earthy red”) sometimes some of it shows through but even if it doesn’t it gives the landscapes warmth. I abstract the scene into large shapes and “draw” the scene in purple paint.  The purple paint disappears as the painting progresses.

I emphasize the push and pull of the scene, light and dark, sun and shadow, close and far away. I make use of complimentary and contrasting colors in the process.

I once observed a young woman returning again and again to a particular painting of mine at an outdoor show.  I spoke to her several times and she finally asked where I had done the painting.  “I think I have been there.” she said.  It turns out she had not literally been to that location but it brought on feelings that linked her to a place she had been that was dear to her.  Sometimes it is difficult to measure the success of a painting but for her and for myself that one was a success.

 

 

 

 

 

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