IMPRESSIONIST OIL PAINTINGS
A FEAST FOR THE EYES
The French painter Delacroix wrote that "first... a painting must be... a feast for the eyes." I take this view as a guide for my subject matter, and this often leads me to a wide variety of places that usually offer more colorful material to work with. Fall color trips around the country and excursions to certain areas of the American Southwest are some of my favorite subjects for oil painting, and I also look to my garden, and marine subjects with boats or seascapes, while floral still lifes round out studio work when I am not working on landscapes. But getting out in the open air is where I find most of my zeal for painting-I always feel transformed by it, and in a world where the natural, or pristine landscape is vanishing, my time spent out and about provides a spiritual retreat, as well as an interesting motif to work with.
Before I took up oil painting on a regular basis, I worked for much of the year out-of-doors as a botanist. As a painter I am largely self-taught; but this is somewhat misleading because of the wide range of influences and time working around other artists. While still working as a botanist, my beginnings started out with copying works by famous painters that represented certain periods in the history of painting, and also going out on location, and working “Plein Air” to practice capturing the natural effects of light, which I consider a crucial element in creating successful paintings. I joined up with other artists and learned to draw the human figure which I found very helpful in developing a greater feel for balancing shapes and understanding values, among other things. Getting Involved as much as possible with more experienced artists and setting up a studio in an artistic community rounded out my creative environment and direction. In 2004 I moved into a full-time approach to painting. Since then, I have been selected into several juried exhibitions with the Oil Painters of America, and The National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society. I am currently a member of the OPA and the American Impressionist Society.