Jagged or water-worn rocks, moss-covered earth, gleaming birch trees, and chameleon rivers of West Virginia are my subjects. I paint the West Virginia of private dwellings beneath fragrant trees enclosed by monoliths and carpeted with strange moss, or the “secret” waters glittering and flowing over smooth rocks, teeming with minnows that I chased as a child. Nature has always been an important component in my work. I thrive on working from life.
The act of painting is central. My process involves a combination of media and approach. It is the dialogue between studio-based practice along with a plein aire experience that interests me and allows for investigation and improvisation. Most of the works are begun with a thin acrylic underpainting or gesture done with a large brush and then completed with a palette knife in oil. I smear, scrape, and thickly layer the oil paint, until the essence of the landscape is found.
Painting in this direct manner is a means to emphasize the importance of experience and reflects a desire to capture the fluidity and power of nature. The works are not images of sweeping vistas, but the views found exploring the interior of West Virginia. They reveal its true character and a feeling of place through semi abstraction. Retained is a relative simplicity of form along with an economy of strokes that are utilized to construct a strong image.