A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
I grew up in the suburbs of northern New Jersey during the 1970's, in close proximity to the northlight studios of The Ridgewood Art Institute (“The Art Barn”), where I studied oil painting and got to watch artists like Arthur Maynard (a protégée of DuMond, a contemporary of Winslow Homer) at work. The eldest of five children, I knew early on how I would spend my life, and set about learning all I could about art. School trips into New York City were a highlight - visting museums, attending musicals, and visiting the Bronx Zoo. Lessons in drawing and quiet summers spent on the eastern end of Long Island near the water were other early influences. I remember liking Cezanne, Rembrant and George Innes alot and drawing constantly.
I've felt a strong sense of connection with the spirit of the old masters ever since, and have spent time studying and admiring their work. Trips to Europe, Yosemite, and the beauty of living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past two decades, have inspired me. I'm often struck by the dramatic coastal fog or sunlight falling on a eucalyptus tree - all of which have helped to develop my sense of awareness and appreciation of the natural world. Whether I'm painting landscapes or objects in the studio, I prefer to work directly from life in a representational manner. Each painting presents a new challenge as I try to capture those fleeting qualities in my subject that first drew my attention. I also try to capture a universal quality, by seeing beyond the surface of what I’m painting to the essence of my subject.
In both my landscape and still life paintings, each element has a unique history and plays an important role in helping to create a distinct overall mood. Starting with a toned canvas, I create a loose sketch revealing large masses of light and shadow, making essential statements on smaller and smaller areas of the canvas as I progress, always keeping the big picture in mind. The end result often seems inspired by the quiet beauty that surrounds me and the sense of peace that has become increasingly elusive in our modern world.
The process of working in oil paint allows me the luxury of slowing down. By focusing on my immediate subject's qualities and by taking note of my mistakes and discoveries, it helps me communicate my ideas in a sensitive and truthful way, by combining the sensation of seeing with how I think and feel about my subject. It has been said that the amount of time an artist spends creating a work of art will be in direct proportion to how long the viewer will want to look at it. My philosophy is to create a work of art that is lasting and inspiring to others.