38" x 51" with custom archival frame


charcoal and pastel on paper


My work consists of closely observed studies from nature that once distilled by me; undergo a transformation into larger-than-life versions of themselves. My aim is to express my own wonder by capturing the essence of some detail in the visual world - be it a bird?s nest or flower - and to recreate it in a new way. I have been pursuing this work since the 1970?s when I studied with my mentor and teacher, Philip Guston. His contribution to my development as an artist was as a speaker of the essential truth, always reminding me of what was truly important. This was, the value of my own vision, the absolute necessity of being brutally honest with oneself. He said ?I want to paint a world as if it has never been seen before, for the first time?that?s what I have to do to make painting worthwhile.? The memories of him walking into my studio and ?zeroing in? on a painting or piece of a painting where this sort of magic happened, sustain me to keep pursuing this work today.
I work on paper because the connection between inspiration and imagery to the stroke of my hand is that much closer, more immediate. My most important breakthroughs have happened in the unselfconscious state that working on paper affords me.
For many years, I have been captivated by the geometric possibilities of light, color, and space in fields, farms and gardens, specifically, rows of plants and flowers and the fences that contain them. Additionally, I have been using perspective as a device to bring forth the ground as it tips toward and away from me in space. This ?tipping? of the ground back in one direction while fences, flowers and plants emerge from it in another, fascinates me. These elements feel like individuals to me, with unique personalities of their own. My pattern has been to work outdoors as much as possible in the warm months and to spend the winter absorbing what I have seen and converting these studies into highly distilled drawings and paintings. I work on a small scale directly from nature with media such as ink wash, watercolor and oil. Once back in the studio, I work on large format mixed media drawings and paintings.