Before I embarked on my adventure in painting, I asked an artist I respected for his thoughts on where to begin and how to to approach a painting. His best advice: don’t try to paint a feeling or specific emotion. Just paint. The emotional quality will come through.
Keeping this in mind, I began to paint my surroundings, the wild beaches of Truro in particular, en plein aire. I studied with fine artists connected to the long tradition of painting and art-making on the Cape including Robert Henry, a student of Hans Hofmann’s, and Fine Arts Work Center Fellows Jim Peters, Bert Yarborough and Richard Baker. Through them I learned to explore materials, free myself from the constraints of representing the real world and work in a more expressive way, responding to color and composition and creating work from both understanding and emotion. I am also particularly influenced by the Bay Area Figurative Movement including painters David Park, Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn.
I am currently working with encaustic wax, one of the oldest forms of painting. The technique allows me to build and remove textured layers of color, transparency, and pigments. Keeping true to that first piece of advice, I try to focus on the joy of creating, and also painting with honesty. My hope is that the resulting layers create not only intriguing and beautiful surfaces, but also give emotional life to the subjects, whether figures, structures, or boats, and hint at the mystery inside.