My recent paintings begin with a mindfullness, an intuition or meditation about water or shore - sometimes triggered by an art image. I choose a canvas shape, then visualize a horizon line and color palette needed to express the natural elements. The intensity of the idea is in the air. My palette knife scoops up unmixed color and builds the oily skin that shapes the painting. If the idea slides to pictorial, I scrape down the paint - then begins a passionate struggle with the painting. My approach to paint is physical and dynamic. The thick scrape of color creates a visceral experience. I want the viewer to "feel" how the painting was made.
On a beach or out in the field, I look very carefully and drink it in. The initial idea for a painting could be how it feels to float at night on the ocean, or embrace a hot beach drenched in sun. I push color to its limits, and always let a mark or scrape of paint hover on that edge between abstraction and whisper of sand or water. When the first wave or cloud is in place, an intense intuitive flow of painting pulls me forward. The paint skin should work on both levels - first, pure holy paint, and then bring you again to the water and shore. The painting should pull you back into nature before you can give it a second thought.
It is in the stillness of watching late afternoon light fill a field, or the awe of moonlight on the beach, that we come to the heart of who we are. These encounters embrace our connection with the earth. The trick is to put that moment actually in the paint - in the space between the canvas and the brush. A painting about earth's elements is successful if it reveals more than appears visible. I always look forward to that end moment when pure paint summons the essence of a time and a place.