I try to paint the essence of what I’m seeing, painting only so much detail as is necessary to capture that essence. This concept is, of course, at the center of the naturalist/impressionist tradition in painting. But it has been my life’s study, and it is the challenge that excites me every time I take up a brush.
I want my work to feel very true to nature, while also having a very personal vision and dynamic expression. I want the viewer to see the act of painting in the finished work itself.
Even so, I feel that the most expressive aspects of painting are not strictly the product of some innate muse. They are the product of years of observing and painting the visual world. And in my case at least, they are a product of years studying contemporary art theory and design as a university student, and four years as an atelier apprentice under master painter Richard Lack. I believe these many perspectives inform my work. While my painting has a strong element of spontaneity and expressiveness, it is built on a foundation of observation, craft, and inherited tradition.
I always paint from nature and I plan out my paintings with a great deal of time and care. But once I’ve arrived at the composition, and I’m satisfied with my plan, I like to work in the moment. As I lay down the color I try not to overanalyze or get distracted by the details of what I may have just painted. I try to trust in my immediate, intuitive response as it is realized in paint.