I began my interest in art in the 1960s when I chose art as my major at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, my home town. Between that time and when I (finally) received my bachelor’s degree in visual art from Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC) in 1984, I "kept my fingers" (pun intended) in art by working as an illustrator, art instructor, gallery assistant, and on commissioned pieces. I attended classes and workshops, and exhibited my work wherever I could, all the while raising two sons.
About my work: On canvas I strive to convey the character of a subject, not just the superficial and obvious. For me, a painting begins with a subject that has exciting shape, color, light and shadow elements. I look at a street scene, a landscape, or whatever "speaks" to me and visualize a different, more colorful and engaging image. I am not necessarily attracted to landmarks or "things," but to interesting compositions and designs found in our surroundings and everyday life. The hustle and bustle of a city excites me as much as a gorgeous landscape. In my work I want to answer the question "What about this subject am I trying to convey?" I do not merely copy what is in front of me, but try to convey the emotion I felt at the time. Instinct plays a key role during this working process.
Having painted and drawn in most other media, I always come back to oils, my first and current love. I delight in the feel of the thick, lush and fluid paint as my brush moves it around the canvas. Because of the slow drying time of oils I rarely finish a painting before beginning another; I usually have about five paintings in progress at once. When possible I prefer to paint en plein air, but sometimes must rely on photo references I have taken. I realized long ago that unless I experience a subject first-hand, I cannot effectively transfer that vision onto canvas, nor share it with the viewer.
These two phrases sum up my painting philosophy:
(1) "Meaning in life is found in discovering your gift; success is found in giving
(2) "Speak softly and carry a big brush!"