Since 2010 I have been painting exclusively from life, and more specifically en plein air. With my recent paintings every single brush-stroke is done on site. Paintings can take months, sometimes years to complete. There is no doubt, this is a pretty intense way to work, however, it is the only way to capture the true aliveness, beauty, and magic that I feel when I look out at the sunlight flowing over my subject.
"Bridge of Fire and Light"
The Old North Bridge, Concord MA
Original Work Available. Click Here to Request Details.
Painted from 2013 -2014. This painting marks a special time in my career and my life experience. More importantly, it marks a special time in the history of the country and is a symbol of free-will and independence. Two things very close to my heart.
Click on the video below to see and hear more about the creation of this piece :-)
"The Grist Mill"
Longfellow's Wayside Inn, Sudbury MA
I discovered the Grist Mill in early winter, just before the first snowfall. That context was essential to the painting: the bare trees and the cold of the season. If it had been painted in the summer, with the trees filled in with foliage, I could never have painted it from such a dramatic angle. I think that is why most people miss this view of the Grist Mill, and its what makes this piece so special.
The painting was done entirely “en plein air,” and I think part of the energy and the drama of the painting came from literally fighting off the cold while working in the freezing temperatures and deep snow. In many ways, the experience of its creation reflects the purpose of the building itself. “It's all grist for the mill,” is to me an expression that comes from boldly, and courageously, working with the challenges of life to transform every situation into something that is usable, beneficial, and ultimately illuminating.
The Herring Run
I searched and searched and searched for the right brook to use as the location for this painting which, for some time, existed only in my mind. It took the right person, at the right time, to show me the right spot to bring this painting into reality.
Sometimes the subject that is near and dear to someone else's heart is exactly what I need to create something that speaks to many and fulfills my creative impulse. There really is nothing like seeing the expression on someone's face while I capture on canvas a place they love so much.
For me, it is my first true 'portal'.
The North River
I learned a great deal from this painting: that a portrait need not be directly concerned with the subject's face to capture ones soul in a complete and effective way. So much is in this piece. In my mind it is a microcosm of the subject, a total distillation of her. There isn't anything out of place here: every element perfectly reflects who this mysterious girl is.
This commissioned painting began an entirely new way of working for me. Austin Awakening and those beautiful blue bonnets and indian paint brush flowers blooming to life in Austin's Hill Country inspired the beginning of an absolute LOVE of color within me. It not only transformed my palette though... it also transformed my process: This painting, and the woman who commissioned it (The Lovely Mary McDonald of Austin Texas) taught me the great joy that comes from painting what my friends, my family, and my followers WANT to see... the things, places, and people that are special to them.