My paintings are a personal expression of my lifelong fascination with the visual effects of color as revealed by the play of light across an array of objects or elements of the landscape. My goal as a representational painter is to attempt to portray the infinite beauty of color not only in every object itself but also in the interaction between objects, their shadows, and the surrounding space as light travels over and amongst them.
Although I occasionally work in the landscape, I am principally a still-life painter. Because a still-life artist has the absolute luxury of determining virtually every aspect of his or her painting, there is a clarity of vision possible through the creation, use, and presentation of light that is totally within the artist’s control. Beginning with my initial choice of objects, to the placement of those articles within a setting of interest, to the management of light and all the effects created by light and shadow through color and value, my goal is to examine and portray, and, perhaps, heighten the beauty I see in my set-up as it is revealed by the light.
After painting for a number of years in both oil and pastel, I was fortunate to study with two gifted painters in New York, Eleanor Moore and Richard Pionk. During the years I worked with them, and further developing that knowledge and practice independently, I learned to appreciate the great utility of chiaroscuro, that is, strongly lighted objects emerging from dark backgrounds. Chiaroscuro, as originally developed centuries ago by the great Renaissance and Northern European masters, was used by these classic painters to achieve a tangibly realistic effect through their stunning use of lively contrast between a dark background and vibrant color in the forward planes. I also attempt to use light to sculpt and emphasize color, texture, and space, and the depth of field created by the deeply hued background creates heightened drama and a sense of mystery from out of which I hope to make my chosen elements literally glow.
I work only from life, attempting to develop still-life set-ups that establish a tranquil mood and impression of timeless serenity both by the lighting itself and by the choice and arrangement of flowers, dried and organic objects, antiques, fabrics, and other materials. The deep, often neutral color of the backdrops helps to establish depth and fosters a feeling of air within the piece. When I first began to paint, I was satisfied if I could create an attractive likeness of the objects I had arranged. My goal has changed, however, as I have become committed to painting in this classic manner. Now I hope not only to create a pleasing arrangement of pretty things, but I also endeavor to use the stunning effects of well-focused light to allow the viewer to appreciate both my choice of elements that make up the painting and the beauty I see in them.