As the world becomes more complicated, more electronic with devices attached to us that we never seem to escape, I look for freedom. I seek openness, wildness, to be connected with nature and be free. It is the unfettered desert vastness, quiet meadows and prairies that appear to go on forever that excite me. A deep passion for Arizona’s diverse landscape serves as the departure point for my art. Bold skies, land dotted with rugged outcroppings, magnificent canyons and red rocks are fodder. They speak to me. Initial inspiration may come from viewing a sunset, a cloudy day, a marshy flyway or rocky surface, but it is the freedom I feel that allows me to paint from an inward source. There I interpret each setting or moment.
Claude Monet once said, “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.” Monet’s work influenced me. Modigliani’s freedom did, too. Other great artists who stepped outside the norm intrigue me. While my initial work was realism, too often, it didn’t give me freedom to express or impress. The artistic journey took me to my desert impressions with bold colors that mimic the ever-shifting skies set against vibrant horizontal lands. When I seek a place of comfort, I resort to hidden marshlands, windy prairies and deep canyons.
Often the soft brush strokes appear nearly invisible against knife work that builds a land base on which the clouds pass. Mixing techniques, dry brushed grass, knifed land surfaces and bold, but gently stroked skies imparts a varied feeling much like nature. While a marsh differs from a desert prairie, the bold colors create a common thread. The vibrant palettes stretch realism and transform into emotion, evoking a mood beyond the scene itself.