Artist Statement
Purple Sky painting detail

There are five bodies of work in my Portfolio: Being In Nature (my latest), Chaos & Calm, Energy ForceAbstract Landscapes and Treescapes. Each body of work has a different raison d’etre; therefore there is a difference in the artist statements.

Being In Nature  During the pandemic, we’ve all spent a lot of time out in nature – taking walks and long hikes, and generally meeting in outside venues with others. Through each season, there are different things to appreciate while being in nature – the wind blowing through the grasses and trees in summer, the awakening of spring, the colors of fall, the starkness of winter.  Through these abstract paintings, I have tried to capture my feelings and impressions of these times.

My process is different with these paintings. After applying layers and layers of oil paint, I carve into the painting with wood carving knives and other tools to achieve the final image.  Each painting has its own unique characteristics depending on the dryness of the paint when carved into, the heaviness or lightness of the carving, the number of different colors applied and the tools used.

Chaos & Calm  The years 2020, 2021 and into 2022 have been an extraordinary time of chaos in our country, our lives and our world. We have had to endure a pandemic and a toxic political environment that has divided our country. I have tried to visually record what I felt throughout during this time.  Many days in 2020 and 2021, were chaotic, but sometimes I was  able to tap into some much needed calmness, thus the name Chaos & Calm.

In this body of work, layers of color reflect my changing mood in this series of paintings, with kinetic, spontaneous mark making recording what is happening that day. Each painting is titled and dated for the day the marks were added on to the background color of the painting.

Energy Force  These non-objective abstracts reflect feelings inside of me. While I worked on these paintings I had no preconceived imagery. It was all created intuitively. I am intrigued by energy in the universe. Scientists say energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. I think about where all of the energy goes when people pass out of this world — how does it change from one form to another and what does that life energy go through? This body of work is an expression of channeling my feelings and thoughts about those questions into my work.

Abstract Landscapes  Through my abstract landscapes, I visually interpret what I have seen and experienced throughout the world. I am drawn to the fluid relationship between water, sky and earth. I feel that the ever-changing skies give way to a constant play of light and dark upon the earth and water.

Some of my earlier abstract landscapes were inspired by the aging stone in eroding walls, buildings and other structures. I saw things in the stone surface – an abstract landscape, an atmosphere, other worlds.

Mixed in with my abstract landscapes is a body of work inspired by the peaceful, yet rugged, terrain of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. A combination of their moors, majestic cliffs, rocky green hillsides, grey skies, calm lakes, fog, rough seas and distant mountains create a transcendental experience for me.

Treescapes  I am attracted to the stark lines and the texture of the trees in winter and how they look against a grey sky and in the snow. There is a visceral feeling I experience with the leafless trees and I try to communicate that in my tree paintings, whether a single tree or an entire forest. Some of the paintings invite you to walk through the trees while others stand as sentries preventing you to go no further.

My Process.  I primarily work with oil on canvas, using primarily oil sticks, palette knives, scrapers and any tools that give me the texture and surface I want. For the most part, I build layers of paint until the painting develops a rich history and texture.  I try to abandon intention and embrace discovery, allowing the process to reveal what is there. That is when the painting becomes what it wants to be.

I think of all of my paintings as peaceful and otherworldly with a sense of mystery. I want the viewer of my art to feel like they can walk through my paintings and have a never-ending journey.