For thirty five years I painted and drew the figure. I painted people in their everyday environments, usually within their city rooms, often looking out of windows. I was not only attempting to paint their forms, but something about their being, their existence.
In 2003, I had an epiphany. One day while painting I began to recognize that my use of the figure as a vehicle for what I wanted to say about my experience on this planet was simply not enough. I began to feel compelled by what was outside the window, wanting to go as far away from the people, buildings, and windows as possible.
The natural world in its primordial state always intrigued me. I decided to paint NATURE. It is increasingly in danger of extinction. It is fathomless and yet we take it for granted. I knew that this subject matter would generate a new channel of exploration.
For most of those 35 years, I was bound by my notion that I was a Photorealist. I decided to let that old adage “to loosen up a bit”, and paint smart, but not sloppy, be my guide. Working in a similar manner to the way I use toned grounds when I draw, I leave the strokes as marks, barely blended. The fresh open look is as freeing as the change in subject matter.
I am aware of the power and emotion in the presence of this venerable subject. Primeval matter endures, changing and evolving silently: growing, falling or in decay. Or, it erupts and spews forth in power beyond our comprehension. Our lives as beings on this planet are so temporary and short in relation to the transcendent quality of nature. It is shrewd in its ability to exist in spite of us, and yet we threaten it. My hope is that the timeless forces of the Natural world will continue regardless of the changes we exact upon it, but ironically only time will tell. Therefore I am exploring this dichotomy which exists. It is a mystery unfurling.
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