My father was a lover of hiking in the wilderness. It relieved him from the stress and concerns of his job and rejuvenated his spirit, bringing joy into his life. He shared this passion with his wife and daughters and now I too, strive to pass on the peace and inner renewal that I find in the mountains and forest trails.
I do this through my paintings, repurposing old window sashes into frameworks for painted panels assembled to communicate the feeling of being outside among the trees and forest life. I go beyond the surface of the panel utilizing paper, wire, clay and whatever else suits my needs in order to express the idea in my mind. I want to reach out to the viewers and draw them into my paintings, to feel the breeze, smell the flowers, to experience the renewing energy of the forest.
My paintings start with remembered hikes and wilderness explorations. I carry my camera with me to quickly capture images that catch my attention as detailed references for the realism that I find so fascinating. Returning to my studio, I bring my scattered ideas together in sketches, forming them into a coherent composition. This is followed by an oil "cartoon" in order to refine the images and work out the color and relative sizes of the elements. I draw on my photographs for detail as the painting develops. During this process, I formulate ideas as to which elements I want to express dimensionally and how I will accomplish this in order to make the whole scene more "real".
I feel that I have accomplished my goal when I overhear viewers of my work exclaim, "I've never seen anything like this before! Is it real? I love it!" Their smiles tell me that I have achieved my goal.
"Take a Hike!" Oil and Mixed Media 32" x 39"
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