I paint because painting gives me hope. I can’t wait to see something good emerge on the canvas from a sea of what often starts as a mess.
My learning feels exponential these days. I find the more I learn and experiment with color, the more striking my work becomes, the more daring I am. Who would think there is this much to learn about seeing, perceiving, and then expressing what’s inside me onto a two dimensional surface?
I discovered oil painting several years ago, after many years of doing watercolors. Oils are creamy, luxurious, vibrant, and give me time to look again and choose how I can make a painting better. Making art mirrors work I’ve done all my life: problem solving, making decisions, the high of a good choice, the frustration of things just not working. When a painting works, it looks loose, natural, effortless. That’s what I hope for in every painting.
I am fortunate to live in Maine, where subjects surround me everywhere I go; I love capturing on canvas the elation I feel when I look around this beautiful place. In the summer I usually paint outside, always searching for a new landscape that will capture my attention. In the winter, I paint in my studio, from small plein air studies I’ve done, or from photographs I’ve taken throughout the year.
I’m drawn to large value contrasts, especially using transparent darks and opaque lights. I arrange my palette to keep the transparent colors separate so they aren’t contaminated by more opaque colors. I tend to use a limited palette, striving for resonance among the colors, and painting complements side by side whenever an opportunity arises.
My interest now is in capturing figures in motion doing daily things, but using strong color and value contrasts to dramatize the activity. The gesture associated with many movements is expressive, and can reveal a noble strength. I’m also experimenting with color, looking for vigorous and lively compositions that grab attention, and then tell a story that causes pause.