What I experience in nature shapes what I create the studio: paintings that explore the diverse Northern California landscape, depicting rolling hillsides, haunting forests, and the sensual fog that engulfs the Bay Area much of the year. These images portray the natural world, showing sky, dense mist, wooded passages, and thick ground cover.
These landscapes are not rendered to be photographic representations but rather to offer atmospheric approximations. I begin by setting up an abstract field that opens up into the specific. My approach places great emphasis on the physicality of the painting process and how the exchanges between color, form, and gestural linework can define shapes for our eyes to follow.
In depicting details like the rough bark of a tree or the veiny luminosity of leaves, my paintings stop at insinuation, breaking the image into sweeping blocks of color and shapes. Nebulous and occasionally obscure expanses of color are lent subtle definition by linework, delicately and thinly carved into drying paint by pencil, and at other times, by thick, oily and hard pastel mark-making that divides space, contouring the edges of trees, mountain peaks, or the horizon. Brushstrokes take care not to appear too precious, nor too controlled, developing as the result of multiple different and slightly changed layers.
The use of color itself diverges from exact and real world replication, prioritizing emotional response over representational accuracy. As if your senses have been heightened and distorted from psychedelic interference, you see vibrant crimson when looking at the forest floor, and fallen leaves underfoot boldly appear aqua, lime, and emerald. Gradually lightened hues become sunlight sneaking through the tops of towering trees to break up the moody, fuzzy mix of tree trunks, fog, leaves, and branches, moving your eyes away from gravity’s pull and closer to the expanses of the stratosphere.
Abstraction is not my only deviation from traditional landscape painting. My compositions place you at close proximity. Both the golden ratio and horizons become optional. The physical edges of the painting serving as limits around the unknown, creating architectural openings into environments that appear mysterious without becoming ominous. You wait at the threshold, offered the woods and fields as a grounding space to explore. When you reach the edges of the painting, you must rely on memory and engage imagination to see into the periphery.
My paintings are invitations. Stand where I have stood. Recall and relive the sensations experienced walking along trails, under forest canopies, and exploring the wilderness.