I began painting on a Pacific cliff in Big Sur, CA. Dense fog wafting down from the
hills behind, blazing sunsets across the vast ocean, waves crashing across boulders
strewn below the Esalen Institute campus, all were part of my artistic awakening during four summer art classes from 2005 through 2010. The convergence in that place of rolling seas and rugged mountains, fields and farmland brought together all my many years of beach walking, tossing in ocean waves, swimming in ponds and lakes, mountain gazing, and traipsing through fields and woods. Different memories and emotions from those many life experiences are all reflected in my work.
From Mission Beach to Myrtle Beach, Cape Cod to Capitola, Daytona to Del Mar, Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park to Galway Bay, Bar Harbor to Barcelona, the power and beauty of sea, sky, stone, fields and flowers have captured my heart. The wonder of it all is what intuitively pours onto my canvases and panels. My delight is seeing memories and joy in others’ eyes as they are transported to another place or feeling.
There are other influences that show up in my paintings: growing up on the edge of woods and near farmland in the Deep South; fishing with my father on the Santee Cooper River and in the swampy lake back in the woods behind our house; fly fishing in Colorado; living in the Midwest and Florida, and now in the Blue Ridge mountains.
My painting process is the opposite of the work I did most of my life in finance. It is loose, carefree, random in rewarding ways. When I first lift the brush or the palette knife, I have no vision in mind. I don’t paint from photos or other paintings. In a way, I’m in the dark, and paint my way out into light at my own pace. I begin by preparing 2-3 boards and/or canvases with a base coat of paint, then move from one to another, layering the pigmented oils as colors call to me. When I work on board or panel, I add cold wax medium to the paint to give texture so later, I can scratch and pull back to prior layers to add mystery and complexity to the design.
Unlike the over 35 years as a business owner and Financial Advisor, I am not guided by laws, rules or a plan. In this chapter of my life, I am in the new world of “fancy free.” The unfolding intrigue of texture, alternating values & a slowly developing design is what always brings me back to the easel. Weeks, months...maybe more than a year later, the paintings are completed, one at a time.
I know when each is finished. It speaks to me. It takes me somewhere or reminds me of someone or something. I’ve learned not to force the process, to have patience to develop its design, its energy, details of it’s unfolding mystery...as in the ocean and streams, the mountains, fields and farmland, and the sky.