As an oil painter, every painting that I create is a personal journey. Interpreting the unique qualities of a farm field, deep woods or a wildlife-filled wetland area is my long-held passion. The quiet rural beauty that I see on a daily basis both inspire and energize me to create my artwork, whether I am painting a field by the side of the road, or in my studio in the woods. Michigan landscapes are my everyday inspiration, and provide me with an endless supply of beautiful scenery from which to choose in my search for dramatic light, color and that essential sense of movement in a painting.
My oil paintings are created on linen, either mounted on birch panels or stretched, or painted directly on gessoed panel using traditional techniques. As an oil painting of mine evolves — from the beginning sketches (many on site), to the final translucent layers — it goes through many transformations. Beginning with a simple charcoal sketch on linen, then building up the layers slowly, I use a transparent glazing process towards the end to obtain the luminous quality that oil paint is known for. Because of my technique of adding and scraping away layers, you will often be able to see through to the beginning of this process that reveals my initial impression of that place and time.
Interpreting those vague, mysterious horizon lines and edges that emerge with the occasional crisp line, is especially exciting to me in my plein air work. I tend to paint in a combination “all prima” (all at once) and a traditional oil technique when I am painting outdoors. This method suits me well when I am setting up my plein air equipment quickly to catch the fleeting light of a spring or summer afternoon. These paintings are often used as a basis for larger format work back in my studio.
My studio, located in Washtenaw County, Michigan, is surrounded by gentle wetlands full of wildlife, vast, glorious farmland, and of course, the stunning, ever-changing Michigan skies.
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