About The Artist

From my very beginning, while as a student at UMass Amherst, I have done nearly all my paintings Plein-aire. Often this involves either sitting on a sidewalk for a day’s work and witnessing occasional strange human antics, or multi day camping trips and hikes. But, sometimes elements in a scene can change fast, so I take a photo anyway in case I need help rendering it to how I first remembered it.

I never have had to look for scenes that motivate me enough to invest the work and logistics time of painting them, I just find them, more than I’d ever have time to do all of. I single out those that have a good proportion of shapes and sizes in their elements, and have a lot going on in them. A variety in buildings and secondary structures like street lamps and signs, ideally some plants or geology mixed in, and either a contrasting background or a dramatic sky, is a great mix. If a waterfall is the subject, my approach is a similar balance of water, rocks, and vegetation. Having a memory attached to an already inspiring scene, which many do, is a bonus.

To me, street intersections are a cross section of everyday life in the neighborhoods that I enjoy going to, with plenty of activity in front of me. Often I’m glad I am not part of my own painting! In rivers I have found spiritual similarity to the flow of time, and they are a peaceful opposite subject to work with when I have done enough of the other for a while.

I get out a sheet of standard 140# hot press paper and make sure I pencil in my reference point parts small enough so I have enough space for everything I want to put in, like doing the obvious parts of a jigsaw puzzle in the early stages. After that, the inking stage is all skipping around the entire surface, never from one side to the other.

Unless I get amazing cloud formations or other passing atmospheric effects, the watercolor is added last. This method allows me to get the kind of detail I want and the rooty, fairy tale look that I like, much like my favorite album covers that were done by artists like Rodney Mattiews and Dan Seagrave.

Though I prefer my depictions as accurate as possible, over time I have given my requirements for the realism slightly less importance and the overall essence more. To tone down or eliminate obstructions, is a very minor compromise to reveal its beauty. My goal is to keep it professional enough to be easily recognizable by local residents but fun enough to not look like a photo. I also believe that when there is a scene with a main subject, like a waterfall or specific building or other structure, its surroundings are equally important.

Finally I am glad to get up and stretch, and hear people say “hey, that’s my street” or “I know right where that is”. But I know I have created a masterpiece when I hear “you make our town look better than it does”.

See me in action on site in Silverton Oregon here: 

https://youtu.be/6n3YrWdRUaQ

I also do stained and fused glass art,  which includes 3-D insects and flowers, octopus chandeliers, and more, which you can see at its own website…

http://masonscreations.com

 

3 thoughts on “About The Artist

  1. I found some of your cards and have enjoyed the images and sending them off to other parts of the US where the beauty you found doesn’t exist. Thank you!

    • You are welcome Karen, I always appreciate people framing them, but my favorite news is hearing that they write in them and mail them. You are helping my cause to keep the art of the handwritten letter alive.

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