We often think of the land as a steady element in nature when in fact the land and sky are evolving and changing ceaselessly. Nature as a whole is never a static element and should be a constant reminder of change and growth, unpredictable and powerful. We as humans also shape and alter the natural landscape in order to fit our needs and that too contributes to the landscape of today.
I feel that the power and movement in the land is often lost in artwork and photography, which by nature is fairly static and representative of a snapshot in time. The challenge of capturing this movement is what attracts me to impressionist painting.
Although many impressionist painters set out to capture a single moment, they were also able to infuse their work with a movement that makes the painting feel alive – you can feel their hand working on the painting and see each distinct decision they made through every brush stroke or mark. My goal is to capture that kind of a timeless element and movement – not only in the subject matter but to the application of the paint as well.
By nature, the act of landscape painting itself forces movement. Whether it is hiking to a location, driving across continents, visiting places in the world, or experiencing the new ways the land is formed and pieced together, it all demands physical movement by the artist.
Formally, my paintings are contemporary-impressionistic works. All of my work is done with oil paint on canvas. First I apply my orange tint to the surface. I then proceed with my under-painting and my final layers. My paintings are ala-prima (one session), so I am always working with wet-on-wet paint giving me freedom to move and manipulate the medium. Painting this way allows me to work in one layer, which helps to keep a fresh quality to my work. I also refer to my style of painting as gestural painting because I always stand to paint and am very active, applying quick broad brush strokes.
My inspirations stretch from impressionist artists like Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, Manet, Monet and Pissarro to painters like Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I’m also very interested in printmaking techniques like woodcut prints and screen printing – the use of minimal colors, layering colors and keeping colors separated are all elements I utilize in my work.