Impressionism may be the term that
first describes my landscape paintings, but a closer observation reveals that I move beyond just recording the landscapes of the California central coast. Although my paintings are done from direct observation of nature in the plein air style, they develop their detail and focus through my interactions with the paintings themselves, so that the landscape and the discoveries made through painting it merge to create the art. The act of painting takes over from the observed reality, so that colors change, and shapes alter.
The result is my unique response to what I see in nature, and my own individual expression of what I see.
In the 1970's, with a new art M.A. in hand, I made one of those impulsive decisions which turned out to be life-changing. I moved from my native Los Angels to Santa Barbara, where I discovered what would become my life-long focus in art: the unique charter and power of the light and the land in coastal California. For the first time I was able observe the intensity of the light and the land in coastal California. For the first time I was able to observe the intensity of that light and record contrasts of native vegetation against canyon walls and ocean cliffs. For three years, every hour I was not teaching art I hiked the hills, canyons and beaches of Santa Barbara County, Prisma Colors and sketchbook in my backpack, exploring the possibilities of the land and of my own work. When I was offered the opportunity to teach art in Monterey, I chose to live in Scotts Valley, a small town in the coastal redwoods, which meant that as an artist I had a world of new discoveries to make, from Point Lobos' coastal cliffs and cypress to Big Basin's waterfalls and redwoods. Again, I hiked, colored pencils at the ready, but I began to work as well in water color. On-site painting made me focus on the importance of a strong composition. I liked the transparency of watercolor, the freshness and immediacy of the medium.
Today, retired from teaching art and living on California's central coast in Los Osos, I remain the backpack artist. setting out with no real destination in mind--discovery still looms large in my work--only now I carry acrylics, brushes, pallets and a portable easel. I may find myself at a Purisima Mission painting a landscape through a colonnade or at Montana de Oro painting the coast or at Sweet Springs painting Morro Rock across the bay. The California Landscape continues to inspire me in its range of subject matter and in the immense variety possible within a single subject. Returning to an area, often, seeing it in a different light or at another time of year, creates a whole new perspective, a new moment to capture in my work.
16 X 20
11 X 14
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16 X 20
11 X 14
20 X 20