My working method

ARTIST STATEMENT:

“In my work, I try to empathize with the retinal image, to try to find a connection in creating a “felt” sense of structure, form and value. I am a very tonal painter and utilize the value structure to create a sense of drama.

I always begin very gestural and loose; trying to get at the inner structure first to re-create the movement inside the form. My marks are results of a building process; strokes building form, creating a sense of depth and three-dimensionality. Color is introduced sometimes gently, inviting the thin washes to come into play or attacking the elusive momentary light condition with alla-prima painting. The thick and juicy stuff of paint is what I love and hope to preserve on the surface. I work towards a contrast of subtle passages with soft tones or rich glazes and strong direct painting continuously building, refining and reducing the image to its essential core.”

My working method for the landscapes is to paint en plein-air. The small to medium sized works are done alla prima with very little change once brought into the studio. I do make some adjustments and additions but am very cautious not to lose the “freshness” from direct observation. They are “moments in time”. I will sometimes return to the same place and the same time of day and weather conditions to continue working on a larger plein-air piece on consecutive days. I have been known to drag really large canvasses out of doors and work on site. I do still enjoy doing that because of the energy in the mark from a direct connection to the “physical experience” that is sometimes lost when working in the studio I also work in the studio from smaller plein-air paintings to create more formal and much larger interpretations. I use my sketchs and photographs for referencing but only after working on the site and being familiar with the landscape can I successfully interpret the forms and especially the color correctly. There is no substitute for actually “being there”. The challenge is to keep the same energy and fluid mark that sparked the first impression.

4 comments

    • Hi Steve, thanks for following me on this crazy blog thing. I just am throwing it out there because writing about art sometimes helps me understand what I am painting. Hope you are doing well out in Colorado.

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  1. you have no idea how much you help this novice – both in technique and by inspiring me with your enthusiasm for plain air painting (which is still quite a challenge for me – tho i love it!) TXXxx! -julie

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