Beauty in nature is my inspiration in creating art, and I find it in abundance in the Central Oregon landscape and in my travels throughout the West. I love searching out new vistas of mountains, rivers, deserts and forests for inspiration and ideas.
When creating pastel paintings, I begin with an under painting of watercolor on sanded paper. This enhances the pastels and makes the landscapes rich with color and depth. As I develop my composition, often at the site, I use light and dark values to bring the viewers’ eye into my work. Whether it’s a single tree behind an open field or a pond surrounded by reeds and brush, my work invites the viewer to study and enjoy the rich feel of each piece as well as a bit of the visual experience I had while there.
Color, texture and drama are the elements of art that excite me the most. In my studio, I like to experiment with all three, using my field studies as a jumping off point for my imagination to go on and beyond the literal. Many of my larger paintings are composites of places I’ve seen, and also dreamed of.
I began my journey as an artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I earned a BFA in painting and drawing in 1970. Many years and diverse life experiences later brought me to Central Oregon in 1998, where I resumed my original pursuit of artistic expression, now in pastel and watercolor paintings. Workshops with plein air painters Howard Carr and Richard McKinley as well as pastel artist Kathleen Keliher and watercolorist Winnie Givot have enriched my skills and understanding.
The creative process is and always will be somewhat of a mystery to me, as it should be; mystical and magical. I try to abide by this quote from Edgar Degas:
“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the artist do good thing”