East Glacier MT
My work, which is primarily located in the genre of landscape, is deeply rooted in place.
Glacier Park and the Eastern Front of the Rocky Mountains, where the prairie meets the mountains, are constantly hanging and eternally unchanged places. Living and working in a landscape defined both by transformation and permanence makes the project of painterly representation a uniquely spiritual endeavor for me.
In my paintings I follow the line of a horizon that exists only for a moment in a particular light. I trace a contour that comes forth briefly in singular shadows, shapes and colors. Both horizon and contour, however, are always there ready to manifest and reveal themselves. To paint place in Glacier is to realize that the project of art and of living involves the attempt to approach—to get closer in both human and spatial senses—to the beauty and the austerity of the physical world.
This understanding of painting as an attempt to move closer and deeper into the physical world, is an impossible and unfinished task. The canvas cannot fully capture the material of the world—its light and dark and life and death—but the project of the artist in Glacier is to always attempt to apprehend and to capture the vision that the mountains and grassland promise to those who genuinely seek to see into landscape.
My influences are diverse: the pleine air tradition, abstract expressionism, the landscapes of John Henry Twatchman and Issac Levitan, the colors of Robert Motherwell’s “multiform” paintings, and the ecstatic and sensual line of Amedeo Modigliani, are all part of my canon of influence. Technically I work through direct and sustained encounter with the places I paint and through rigorous study of the work of other artists. I paint, sketch, write, and think outdoors, and I bring my impressions and material back to the studio I built, where I continue to work to open the canvas through further study and refinement of surface, tone, affect, and shape.
I am not after mimesis or realism in my work. I try to build my paintings by means that are similar to those of musical composition: tonality, modulation, repetition, juxtaposition, unlooked for resolutions. In my work I do not attempt to develop a camera eye rendering of Glacier, rather I work to generate paintings that bear the impress a place that generates envelopment in a state of soul. I do not paint to see but to reflect deeply, to meditate, and even to dream, about life and place both for myself and for the viewer of the canvas.