I am an observer.
When I enrolled in art school, we were taught that in order to paint, you must first learn how to see. I have spent most of my life observing the beauty in the world around me and studying the colors, patterns and textures revealed by the light of the sun. When we take the time to look closely, to look with the awe and wonder of a child, we come to understand our connection to the world.
I have always enjoyed being outside, hiking in the woods, walking along a frozen stream or cresting a hill in an open field. I spent a great deal of my youth hiking the mountain trails of central Pennsylvania. When I moved to Bucks County, I was captivated by the light and color along the towpath of the Delaware Canal and the river. I began to paint plein air and felt as though I was walking in the footsteps of the New Hope Impressionists, kindred spirits of a bygone era.
Painting has become an essential part of my life. I cannot imagine what it would be like not to make paintings. It is both a satisfying and frustrating endeavor, but I cannot not do it. At whatever compromise, I have always maintained a studio, a place to work where I am able to cajole the images in my imagination out onto the canvas. It is a constant experiment of mixing colors and making marks.
Out of necessity, I adapted my work process to my life. The demands of a growing family impacted the time I could devote to pursuing my work, and so paintings were conjured from memories, photographs, sketchbooks and drawings. Landscape was still the foundation, but my work grew more simplified, and my colors more expressive.
Life took an unexpected turn for me, and in the wake of the turmoil, I was no longer able to conceive the vivid color and dynamic compositions of my memories. I was distracted- my creative side clouded over and the emotional trauma of events changed everything about the life I had known. Painting became a struggle.
It has taken more than a decade and along the journey, I found my way back to the beginning. Now, the painting reflects what I have learned along the way; the focus on light and color still entices me, and through it all, my love for the landscape continues to serve as the through-line.
My daughter told me of a wonderful place to hike and walk not far from our home, and I was introduced to Stroud Preserve; over 500 acres of protected open space. It has become a sanctuary, a reconnection to the natural world that has always been the haven for my imagination, a place where I can think, the place where I feel most at home.
The purpose of my painting is to share my vision of the world I observe. It is one that many of us see but rarely stop to experience. My hope is to express the whole of my experience of that moment in time with you. I strive to present that vision in much the same way as we would have a conversation. My work is an impression, intentionally incomplete to enable you to fill in the blanks. It is a process that can shift and change indefinitely with every viewing.
In a world turned upside down by a pandemic, divided by political turmoil, and racked with extreme weather and natural disasters, many of us have returned to nature as a remedy. Spending time under the open sky and among the trees is grounding and helps us live mindfully in each moment. I hope my work will inspire the same awareness and appreciation for our world and the natural beauty that surrounds us all.
It is that spirit of appreciation and gratitude that inspired me to partner with the Natural Lands Trust. I am donating 10% of the purchase price of all the work inspired by Stroud Preserve in support of their ongoing commitment to protecting open land for future generations.