I have always lived in Maine, so nature is a vital part of my existence. The smells, sounds and sights of the pine forest where I spent so much time as a child are with me still, and the ocean is a magnet for my soul. I cannot, therefore, imagine being anything other than a painter of realism which honestly and reverently captures nature in all its facets.
My latest series, Man and Sea, falls into the eco-art category, and conveys to the viewer, “Take care of Mother Earth, as she has provided everything for you.” Some of these works highlight the dramatic dichotomy between the ravages and the benefits of the earth’s oceans. Others depict the ocean’s role in the way we sustain ourselves.
The work I do depends to a great degree on strong color, emphasis on depth of space, attention to the strength, direction, and color of light, and layering. My palette varies with each work, the constants being burnt umber, raw sienna, pthalo and ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cad yellows medium and light. I begin with a rough sketch of the main shapes, then block in with value washes that either correspond to or heighten the later hues. Since my paintings contain a great deal of detail, it is necessary to work the piece as a whole. As each object is added, care must be taken to keep the values harmonious. This process continues until the highlight stage when I am satisfied with the tonal qualities and wish to emphasize certain areas. I know my work is done when I feel as though I can step into the scene.
Painting in acrylics does not lend itself to plein air, so I work predominantly from photos and memory. A single painting may incorporate up to six or seven images, combined to please my eye and convey the emotion I’m after.
There are many painters today who utilize their art as a means of activism, but only a few have chosen natural realism in a straightforward presentation such as mine. My goal is to take my work as far as it will go toward exacting positive change in this world, as well as providing deep pleasure to my collectors and viewers.