I seldom begin a painting with any particular image in mind. I often start by simply loading a brush with a color of paint that appeals to me at that time and making a stroke on the canvas or panel surface. As I react to the form of that stroke, the way it divides the canvas, the weight of the stroke, the emotional impact, I lay down the next stroke, either in the same color or in a different color. The entire painting evolves in that manner, in a series of reactions to the previous collection of actions.
Throughout that process the visual and emotional elements that I have collected during my lifetime of observation, as well as, I suspect, elements that are in the genetic evolution of the human species, all play a part in determining each new step.
Ultimately my paintings are simply explorations, interpretations and expressions of the world around me and within me.
Now, I will say that I do love the New Mexico landscape. I will say also that I love to look at just about any landscape or cityscape or room interior or the food on my plate! That is what I do. All that information is continually filed away, sometimes only reappearing years later. I often don’t even remember a particular inspiration when I am painting. Then sometime later I might see something in the landscape that will make me exclaim, “Oh yes, I painted that last year in such and such a painting, something like this must have inspired that work.” I seldom have a particular reaction that I am hoping for from a viewer. Rather, I would like for the viewer to experience an increased awareness or way of seeing, perhaps it could be called visual vocabulary, through seeing my work. Hopefully that increase will lead to heightened emotional and intellectual richness for the viewer. These goals apply to me as well as others, for I probably learn more through experiencing my paintings than does any other viewer.
Photo credit by Kate Russell