Watercolor has been my medium of choice for about thirty-five years. As an art teacher I had to be familiar with and able to teach a wide variety of media, so for my own work I wanted to focus on one. Early works ranged from still lifes to figures to landscape, and for a time I found my niche in painting architecture, from beautiful older structures with relief sculpture, to the grittiest of dilapidated buildings with rusty fire escapes, broken windows, and electrical poles.
Eventually holding a brush in my right hand and a photograph in my left, trying to stay faithful to the appearance of the actual building, grew tiresome. I began to explore organic subjects, and now I am mostly inspired by nature, whether it’s fauna or flora. Several themes have emerged.
“Woods and Fields,” mostly concerns trees and plants, often represented as dense layers of branches going back in space. Capturing the light on the landscape is important to me; I’m captivated by early morning or late afternoon sunlight breaking through foliage. Many of these watercolors are composed from a combination of memory and imagination, although sometimes I will use my own photographs for a reference.
The paintings in the series “Drawn to the Sea,” are born of my conviction that the ocean is compelling in ways that are hard to articulate and probably not fully understood, at least by me. The unceasing waves arriving on shore, and then receding back into the sea is a mesmerizing phenomenon to observe, and for me, relaxing and meditative. Perhaps this is universal.
The third theme, “Nature Layered,” is connected to my fondness for the wildlife that inhabits the outdoor spaces we share. The packed populated spaces of these watercolors mesh with the crowded feel of the landscapes in “Woods and Fields,” but this time it’s an examination of the shapes of birds, lizards, butterflies, and other creatures in various positions, painted with wet-in-wet technique.
Finally, the last theme, “Landscape Geometry,” is an exploration of marks on paper and color harmonies. The paintings begin as non-objective play with the medium, and usually end up as abstracted landscapes, whether that was the intent or not. Repeated shapes in vibrant colors are the elements I build on to create works that are rooted in my imagination rather than reality.