Why I Paint

After A life change, I have come to live in an area where country roads and farms coexist with highways, office buildings, and shopping malls. Regularly, I pass a farm that, during the day, looks beautifully pastoral but at 7pm on a summer night becomes a blaze of red light. I see trees that are grey in the morning turn pink in the afternoon and I see patches of weeds that dance along the road.

I had stopped painting for a number of years because I didn’t know what it was that I needed to say. With a new perspective, I realized that landscape was magical and important, and that I needed to paint.

I’m not sure if my response to a location is to form, space, light, movement, color, etc., or does the location cause me to respond to ideas that are emotional, political, or spiritual. Clearly it is both. When I see something I want to paint, my first reaction is pure visual excitement. After that first reaction, I might be drawn to a place because of a happy memory. Sometimes, however, even when the landscape is beautiful and calm, I can be agitated with thoughts that range from environmental abuse to social injustice and it might be those thoughts that prompt me to create a painting.

In my work, I am representing my version of nature. But nature can be responded to in different ways by different people. In many of my paintings I include a road or a path. I suppose I put them there to provide the viewer with a conveyance that can lead them to their own personal journey.