Landscape Painting

I have always found power, energy, and inspiration from the locations that I use as subjects for my paintings. It is the give and take from the view where I stand, the time of day, the temperature, the wind, and the light that fuse my attention and direct how I will interpret that landscape. Many times I will have the image of the landscape in my mind from previous visits to the site. The image has been burned into my psyche and will not let me go until I realize a painting of that place. My mood dictates what palette of colors I prepare on that day. When I arrive I may even start painting without drawing. I want to react to the location emotionally and show how I feel about the spot through the colors. I do not record a place in a way of the Impressionist’s painters; instead I am reacting from within, changing my color use according to how I am experiencing the place and not just how I am seeing it. Within my mind and in the composition I may coax buildings closer to one another or drift a tree, a path, or a body of water further from my view. It feels right when I make these changes, not only for my composition but also for the emotional impact that I want to convey about of the place. Many times I will find myself elevating above the scene in my mind. It’s my consciousness floating from my body over the land and painting it from a different vantage point, literally levitating above it.

Though Vincent Van Gogh’s attacks of the canvas with jabs and punches of color and force have inspired how I apply my paint, I do differ from him in the end results. I want the viewers of my paintings to be surprised and shocked at my choices of colors so they are seeing a landscape that cannot be real but somehow exists on the canvas. Armed with my brushes, palette and favorite palette knife, I use thin layers of paint to begin to build the image. Different types of brush strokes rise from my body to take on forms that attract me. Some times I paint very fast, then slowly – the tempo varying according the varying emotions of the composition. I am always amazed at what I am looking at: the colors, forms and light vie for my attention, screaming to be included in my composition to convey my emotions. I use a multitude of brushes, not wanting to stop working to clean them, the unexpected colors surprise and stir me. And when I finally stop, I have spent my paint and feel drained of excitement and my inner vision is completed so I no longer feel I just have to paint that place.