ßefore I begin a painting, I already have an idea in my head about the subject matter. That idea is often inspired by photos taken on one of my adventures, but it is always my intention to use photos only as an initial idea. Since color is my primary passion, I will select a color palette based loosely on the subject but more on what colors I am in love with that day.
I begin with a loose sketch of my subject using a dark hard pastel. Then I block in dark and light shapes with hard pastels, usually in a color complementary to my final color scheme, and usually with a very bright color for the lights. At this point, I will wash over the entire underpainting with denatured alcohol which creates the lovely drips, splashes and patterns that I will incorporate into the finished painting.
The emotion of the painting begins with the application of soft pastel colors. This is where I let my awareness of the beauty of brilliant color shine. With every stroke of the pastel stick, I find delight in the tiny flecks of pure color that remain on the surface of the paper. When I think the painting is complete, I leave it on the easel until the next day, when I will undoubtedly see adjustments or additions that need to be made. I will study the piece and ask myself a series of questions about its’ design and composition. Does the work convey the emotion I felt when I saw the scene in person? Does it convey the emotion I had in my head when I imagined the idea? Depending upon my response to these questions, I will then make further adjustments or declare it complete and sign it.
My goal is that my work expresses my quest to consciously understand my spiritual self to participate in creating a personal and collective reality for the world around me.