Landscape painting is ultimately about deep observation and creating context that reflects my experiences of the natural world. I am interested in arresting the moment's perception and I have tried to build a vocabulary to render it in oils. Painting is to a large degree a celebration of those places that survive in the wild state, at the edge; but it is also elegiac and frustrating, as we are losing so much to poor development and environmental exploitation every day.
Techniques & Materials
The exacting hours at the easel are about keeping inspired moments pure. Technique is about building a usable vocabulary that helps me to explain my perceptions. Being knowledgeable in the correct applications of materials and using them in a craftsman-like manner extends my ability in keeping the inspired vision alive. It also helps connect me to the lineage of artists who got out of the studio and saw the significant power of Nature and tried to render their what they saw with really very humble and native stuff; linen, linseed oil, earth and natural pigments, wood, and hair. Pushing and pulling all this together is no mean feat and a constant challenge.
I have built a visual language around the painters of the American and European work that reflects similar concerns. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists raised questions about the relationship of man and Nature and those questions remain valid, if not urgent, with increasing pressures from development and destruction of species and habitat.
These influences include the Barbizon, Hudson River School, Dusseldorf School of German Naturalism, and especially Ivan Shiskin, the premier Russian landscape artist. While I attended art school at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, I had to go my own way to paint the way I sensed would serve my personal vision. Since the dominant mode of instruction was expressionist and non-objective in the mid 1980’s, I increasingly found I had to search outside of what had become rote academic cannon to find what I needed. It was not so much that secrets of painting had been 'lost' but respect for materials had been discarded in favor of dramatic emphasis
Ultimately, I see myself as an American artist with roots that go deep in many directions. My family heritage is grounded in the southeast; one of my great-grandfathers was a cabinet maker who moved in 1842 from Germany to settle near Macon, Georgia. My grandfather took up photography very early and had his own commercial photography studio in old Cedar Key, Florida, later in Bradenton, Florida. Visual culture was always part of my family life.
Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate degree from Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, 1984.
I have had a freelance/private studio since 1984. My work is in private and corporate collections in London, New York, San Francisco, Florida, North and South Carolina. As well as a few places we probably don’t know about, yet.