Over the past 30 years, painting has been a great hobby, where I can spend hours thinking about designs, while away my free-time painting, and then enjoy my creations, and share them with others.
Apart from a couple of classes at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, about 25 years ago, and a recent plein-air class with world-renowned Kathleen Dunphy, I am self-taught. It's my belief that, if you're diligent and observant, you can learn how to paint and draw - especially when you're doing so in your studio.
When I moved to the Bay Area from Seattle, I quickly learned about a Carmel artist named Loren Speck, and that’s when I knew that’s how I want to paint. Look up his stunning work and you will see in his work what I was inspired to do beginning almost 30 years ago. Even then, though, I was inspired to paint realistically, and, inspired by Matisse and other post-impressionist artists to paint abstracts, and surrealistic, and fauvist designs.
So from the start, I have been of two minds in what I wanted to paint: today, shall I paint realistically? Or paint with more abstraction in the space and modeling of forms? That duality of approaches to painting has remained with me. While I learned from the examples of Sargent, David Leffel, and Speck, I also kept one eye on Cezanne, Van Gogh, and the paintings from the French Fauvist period spawned by Matisse, de Vlaminck, and Derain.
"How can you possibly paint like the Fauvists,” with those separated brushstrokes, and highly-saturated (out-of-the tube) expressive coloration? The answer escaped me until about 3 years ago, when I began painting more loosely, like Cezanne with his contour lines surrounding prominent brushstrokes for the forms. At the same time, I started painting very large abstracts fashioned after Diebenkorn's Berkeley series of landscapes. Toss in the multi-colored ending of Wayne Thiebaud, and you have some elements of what you see in my abstracts, and still-life.
In my series of Fauvist paintings I have striven to use expressive, highly-saturated colors applied in impasto, short brushstrokes produced with "bright" paintbrushes, and multi-colored, short contour lines. Even the underpainting is, in many places, bright and unreal in effect, though typically warm in tone. In this series, with design as my first priority, the results have been compositions which I find very satisfying - both when I am actually doing the work, and in the final painting.
I hope you enjoy the results as much as I have.