Artist’s Statement

My work is about water. I am drawn to water - the undulating reflections of a windswept pond, the turbulence of crashing ocean waves, the calm infinity of the ocean’s depths, the glassy mirror image of trees on a still lake, the gurgling sound of the local creek. Virtually all of my paintings depict water.

Not surprisingly, my favorite medium is watercolor. I like the sensual fluidity of coaxing a wet brush across the absorbent paper. There is a playful feeling as the color tries to find where it wants to go. The watery medium creates a watery image. My favorite exercise is swimming, whether in pool, lake or ocean. I scuba dive and paint underwater scenes from dives.

As an art student I had an epiphany upon discovery of the romantic, mystical seascapes of Albert Pinkham Ryder. I intuitively related to his rhythmical paintings. I’m not big on astrology, but I’m a Pisces and was born 100 years less 6 days after Ryder and can’t help but feel there is some significance to that.

My work has never had a clear dividing line between what might be considered sketches or studies and what might be called a finished painting. I have always put an emphasis on spontaneity and intuitive impulse. I often feel that if I don’t get it right the first time, I never will. Hence my affinity for watercolor, a very unforgiving medium. My first drawing class with Neil Welliver was freehand drawing in pen and ink, another unforgiving medium. The object was to see it right the first time. I admit that I do rework stuff in oils and acrylic, but often over do it and beat the painting to death. Many of my successful watercolors are the result of multiple attempts, most not show-worthy.

For me painting is a process. I don't "make art." I don't make a product. Rather, the art work is a by-product of the process. I know how to approach painting, but I don't know how to paint. Each time I approach a new problem I have to discover how to paint. If I find an idea or an image that interests me, I and methodically set up a drawing on paper or canvas, but as I work on the problem at hand I have to discover how to solve it. Dealing with the uncertainty of the process is where creativity manifests itself.