This series was inspired by a fall 2015 visit to the Hancock Shaker Villiage in Pittsfield MA. I was struck not only by the furniture and tools so commonly referenced as the Shaker Style but primarily by the buildings and the spaces. Rooms are furnished sparsely but never feel cold or vacant. Simple details and craftsmanship seem to contribute to a warmth that feels like needs have been taken care of.
I am in love with the forms and shapes of the Shaker architecture, furniture, rooms, and tools as well as the style with which things are arranged. Shakers hold a tradition of regarding simplicity and functionality as sacred and of work well performed. I am moved by the inspiration and peace that comes with the concept of living with only the essentials in life. Simplicity.
These paintings attempt to capture the serenity of this village and the nature of the light cast through elegant windows and doors.
This past year I visited Nantucket for the first time. The island feels mysterious and full of dramatic lighting effects, endless subjects, and smells and breezes. This series is what I hope to be a start to a long relationship with the island. There are 7 paintings, dunes, beaches and houses composed in the landscape. I was attempting to portray the fall colors and the magical island feel.
Cadaques has an interesting place in art history influencing the likes of Salvador Dali, who lived nearby in Port Lligat, and who painted several views of the hillside town. Also associated with Cadaques are; Pablo Picasso, Juan Miro, Marcel Duchamps and other modernists.
This painting was done on comission for a very supportive patron who holds a collection of paintings of this Catalan port town in Spain.
In this view I tried to capture the way the moutains converge on the chapel, and the energy and dance created by the myriad of organically cascading rooftops towards the harbor walk.
The weepy trees series was started in 2005 as a response to the lonely trees I see on my runs to Castle Island in the winter. I run from Fort Point down to the "suga bowl" and back. These trees are clinging for life to the windswept cold penisula. Both a compositional exercise and experiments in pigments and flow, this series is an exploration of an idea and an emotion. This series has evolved since 2005 and is ongoing. I have used the Weepy Trees to introduce new experimental wet media to my pallet. In them you will see inks,pastels, salt, conte crayon, gouache and gesso. A companion to the earth square series, together forming the true basis of my entry into Horizon Studies and a foray from plein air to more abstract studio pieces.
“I miss the honky tonks, Dairy Queens and Seven Elevens…as things fell apart nobody paid much attention....don’t leave me stranded here, I can’t get used to this lifestyle!”
- David Byrne
This body of work is inspired by the multitude of ironies and paradoxes that is our interaction with the earth. Climate change is real. Our future is uncertain. Resisting my impulse to see this as apocolyptic I have chosen to view the evolution opportunistically and find beauty in the sunrises and storms and the systems at play.
Forests are burning, seas rising, viruses mutating, flowers blooming, towers rising and crashing to the earth. These pieces are all inspired in one way or another by this constant interaction of humans and nature, buildings and sky, wind and rain and steel and wood, the elements that harm and those that heal. The act of painting with watercolor for me is analogous to these organic systems. Water, mixed with colors created from elements, pigments and minerals, flowing from one section of the paper to another is like a mini-ecosystem. The paint flows, uncontrollable at times, representative of nature, earth's forces and society's paradoxes as we struggle with this.
Fort Point is where I have called home since 1995. I have painted many vantage points of this beautiful subdistrict of Boston. This is a gallery of these paintings.
These Fort Point have been my backdrop and my companions to my daily life. I have watched as these gentle masonry giants have been bought and sold several times by profiteers and developers looking to turn a dollar. I like these buildings, they are solid and strong. They tell a tale that is long and filled with joys as well as sorrows. I often make analogies of their windows as eyes on the neighborhood. They are waiting to know their future. I think they are scared …and a little excited.
New York City Watertowers
This series, begun in Spring 2011, is a compositional exploration of the 1930’s WPA funded project, these Watertowers that are scattered about New York City. These paintings were done in the studio with special attention to composition in terms of golden section proportions locating these strange iconic structures in ways to highlight their personality. There is something almost comical about them, found in pairs or alone, and at times nestled in among the most modern of structures. The wood slats, rusty barrel ties, and simple gravity fed pipe emerging from the bottom are beautiful.
Paris under Winter Skies
To capture the grey, wet and cold yet starkly beautiful monochromatic nature of Paris in winter this series of travel paintings was executed using a very limited pallet, in some cases two colors: indigo and burnt sienna and painted on location in France; Paris and Brittany (Ille De Brehat) January 2006. Plein air painting with watercolor in the Parisian and Breton winter poses special challenges, staying warm being one of them but the foremost being the humidity. The air is as wet as the paint and therefore the drying time is greatly extended. The results are interesting with colors running into one another forming unexpected results.
Since my first trip to Venice in 2005 I have been captured, as so many others have, by the magic of this city and the infinite subject matter. I studied for 10 days with Australian watercolorist John Lovette who fundametally changed the way I paint. I was fortunate to be able to return to Italy in 2011 for a wedding of a dear friend in Florence where I painted more plien air peices in the birthplace of the renaissance as well as some landscapes in Chianti. I hope to be able to return to Italy and paint in the superb arid atmosphere. There is a vibrancy to plien air that studio work can't immitate.
Cornices and Sky
A series of impressionistic architectural images taken from an abstracted perspective of the Boston Wharf Company warehouse buildings in Fort Point. These paintings are composed in an exaggerated vertical proportion (16x38). The tops of the buildings are the subject matter contrasting the warm colors of the bricks and cast iron cornice work with the blue of the sky. Gouache was used extensively in the sky to add to this contrast the difference between glowing transparent washes in the buildings and the opaque rendered sky. The theme was capturing and illustrating a personality to these buildings. I imagine them walking around below the viewers perspective and peeking up into the frame.