I need to be around nature. Desperately. Trust me, I get a bit odd (well, more odd) without it. I learned this while I went to school in Chicago. There I was, living in a big city during the cold, gray winter and I realized, “I am a landscape painter!” Also, that I really love the color green. It is necessary, like food and air. I honestly had had no clue before then. While in Chicago I had a teacher that teased me that if I kept painting trees I’d have a whole forest by the end of the semester. Yep. He’d figured out my plan.
One summer between school years I lived in Yosemite National Park. I figured lots of nature could balance out lots of city. There I learned a few life lessons. One, the people that work the raft rental stand lose faith in humanity first. It’s not their fault. They get asked questions like “does the river go in a circle” (why, yes! It was designed by M.C. Escher!). We all start to lose it after a while. There is no privacy. Two, for the most part, people don’t look when they take photos. Now, there is a whole bunch of people standing around on Sentinel Bridge with cameras I drool over, taking beautiful photographs. I am not speaking of them. But, so many people travel so far to get to such a wonderful place and they just snap photos left and right and never really SEE what they are looking at. Waterfall, tree, tree, rock, waterfall, river. Yes, but what color was the sand at the bottom of the river? And the third life lesson, most of us (me! me!) can never take the photo I am trying to take. I look, I see, I click, I look at my camera. I frown. That is not what I saw! So, for those of you kindred spirits in group number three, these paintings are for you!
I aim to serve you by recreating the personality of the place we saw. To take a long lingering look at that tree, that leaf, that mountain, and to paint it, without all the information that the camera collects. I go out and enjoy nature, take many, many photos, frown, frown, frown. Sketch. Then come back to my studio and paint what I SEE.