In my professional design I use hard edges and precise geometries; my work is researched, analyzed, thought about and distilled. By training, I’m a graphic designer; but, I am also a fine artist, poet, vagabond and traveling soul. The pictures in this show are from the last two years of doing en-plein-aire painting, the painting I do while traveling, working outdoors in daylight. It is immediate, spontaneous, a response to the light and to the moment in time. They capture impressions — the spirit of the place. Working this way forces me to be still, to experience a place in a way that I don’t when I’m just walking through.

I draw lines in India ink, then go back to add the color. I use a dip pen because I love the feel of the way it drags across the paper, and how the width of the line can vary so wildly. Dip pens create their own rhythm...they’re constantly running out of a charge of ink at the worst moment. I’m best when I can’t fuss. I like the paper that’s the most unforgiving for watercolor, a medium which could let me change my mind perpetually. The drawing paper I use just soaks up the paint and often makes changes impossible. I enjoy en-plein-aire drawing because it’s less studied; I like leaving some things incompletely stated, and gestural lines. I often go back to the same place over and over in different seasons, weather, and times of day. What I paint is like a visual journal. I paint the long vista and the wide view. I prefer to have a distance between the object and me so I don’t see, or worry about, all the details.

For gear I use whatever I can pack compactly in my backpack. I have a miniature portfolio with precut papers, a small bottle of water, a water color kit with three stacking tiers, a paper towel, a bit of cotton to cushion the pen nibs, a jar of ink inside a yogurt cup, and a pen nib holder that I cut in half so that it can fit inside.

I like to go back to the same place and get a fresh impression. I’ve been at Herring Cove when the weather is bad, or the wind is blowing, and I always see something new. I paint the transitional ecology where pines give way to scrub, to grassy dunes, to beach. I also like a sign of the manmade, like the roadside markers, or a lighthouse. The weather is a factor too; bad weather quickens the painting, and good weather lets me be more contemplative. I love being out in crazy weather. It must be because my Dad was a weatherman...I often end up liking the quickest sketches...drawn in the worst conditions, the best.

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