I enjoy making art because of the strong sense of accomplishment I get whenever I complete a painting. While my failures often far outweigh my successes, knowing I can occasionally beat the odds gives me great pleasure. And having spent most of my life using the logical side of my brain, it’s wonderful to exercise the other half now.
I usually begin a piece with a 6”x 8” or 9"x12" color study done en plein air to capture the essential shapes and mood of a scene. Next, I'll do a series of thumbnail sketches to arrive at a pleasing composition. Finally, I'll draw a very simple outline of only the major shapes, usually with Burnt Sienna mixed with Liquin, on the canvas and begin to paint directly.
If I'm going to create a detailed rendition (for example, one of my "Ships That Never Were" series), then I'll do considerable research to define the details of my subject. This may include reviewing literature, watching films, and searching historical archives. Discovering the unique characteristics of my subject is half the fun!
I’m often asked how my work compares to others. In answering, I’m reminded of what Martha Graham once said: “It is not for you to determine how good it is, not how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly.”
I’m most inspired by the works of the late Edgar Payne, Paul Strisik, John Hoyne and E. John Robinson; and today’s masters Scott Christensen and Kevin Macpherson. Each of these artists had or has an uncanny ability to capture light in his paintings. And each has succeeded in creating masterpieces depicting the majesty of this wonderful country in which I am so privileged to live .