My paintings sit in the tension between realism and abstraction.
I begin my paintings on location and finish them in the studio. Being on location is where the energy and ideas come from. I finish them in the studio away from the distraction of all the details and stimulus of being out in nature. In the studio I can focus on them as paintings first and representations of a place second. Sometimes they remain fairly true to the spot that inspired them, sometimes they shift dramatically. If I’m successful there is a transfer of energy and excitement from the location to the painting itself. I start by responding to the location–to something outside of the canvas–but in the ones that work there’s a shift that happens and I’m responding to and energized by what is on the canvas.
It’s the ebb and flow between nature and painting that keeps me interested. At times I can get a bit too representational or precious, I’ll notice that I’m standing too close to the painting or holding the brush too close to the ferrule. Other times I get too abstract or separated from what inspired me initially. In both cases I lose interest–it gets boring. Joy and energy are found in the space between realistically representing the spot and abstracting it into a new thing with its own composition and color relationships and energy.