paintings are studio and field works in oil and watercolor based
on my response to the landscape. The studio allows for
size and details while the field demands simplicity. One serves
the other for me in these two different approaches.
The imagery has been about my surroundings in rural northeast Connecticut. I
am attracted to working farms. I feel a sort of kinship with the people who farm
and their daily rituals. Also, I appreciate the architecture, equipment, fields,
and animals.This narrative inclination goes back to my youth in North Carolina.
As an elected member of The Connecticut Plein Air Society, I have begun to explore
other farms and landscapes in the state through arrangement with The Working
Lands Alliance that works for the preservation of Connecticut farmland. This
has been a natural venue for me.
Until recently, I used about the same approach for fieldwork that I used in studio
painting. Whether done inside, outside, or a combination of the two, I wanted
all the paintings to be naturalistic, have strong compositions, involved textures,
a range of colors, good paint quality, solid form, subtle value changes, space,
everything, all the elements of visual art used in every piece. I came to realize,
out of exhaustion, that I could work on location with a limited palette, minimal
supplies, simplified subject matter, and produce consistent paintings. It was
a revelation to me that the two ways of working did not have to look the same
in style. I now think of these two approaches as separate and have a much better
time with both of them.
While continuing to paint local surroundings, I have begun to explore and paint
other parts of New England with trips to the Massachusetts Berkshire Mountains,
Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine’s Monhegan Island ,the Connecticut
shore, and most recently, Providence Canyon in Georgia. The paintings are examples
of my studio work and plein air travels.