What inspires me? Many things. Earlier in my career I was drawn to the post impressionists work – Cezanne, Matisse, and Bonnard. I was inspired by their Plen Air painting and I was drawn to the outside also. I had a French Easel, and daily packed my paints up and found my way to the closest arboretum or park to work directly from life. It was hard work but learning to interpret and paint the light directly from nature, while drawing inspiration from masters from the past was a great combination. A trip across country by car led me to the vast open spaces of the mid west. I found these vast open and very simple spaces to pare the observation of nature to its most basic elements.
Living in New York City seemed to provide the opposite experience – very little sky and tall buildings blocking out the light. I moved my work into my studio on Williamsburg, Brooklyn and continued working on landscapes and still lifes. Working in my studio allowed my canvases to grow larger, being able to more deeply express the vastness of the landscape. I worked on series of paintings from Ireland and Provence. Still trying to re-create the deep open spaces of the mid-west, I was drawn to the coastline and found those deep open spaces in the salt marshes of New York and New Jersey where the Atlantic Ocean meets the land.
In the past two years, I’ve turned my images to the city. I’ve been making paintings from my studio interior – looking inside and outside. These are smaller paintings, more intensely colored and somehow more personal. More current works include images of people also – painted in their environment. I’ve tried to keep the compositions simple, they rely heavily on drawing and the light is provided by highly saturated color. The ease and immediacy of smart phone photography makes catching interesting compositions for later interpretation a daily exercise.
Still, I love riding or driving through landscapes – those simple quiet moments where the road opens up to a vast flat space somehow lead me to feel the feeling of limitless possibilities.