A R T I S T ' S S T A T E M E N T
Photo by Teri Quatman
I love the landscape and the way the various qualities of light play upon it. My dad first made me aware of observing nature in this way. He was an artist who loved the outdoors and often commented on the beauty he saw in God's great creation. As I grew older I developed my own love of the landscape and the passion to paint it.
I paint in a realistic style. I was influenced in my early years by the wonderful landscape paintings I saw at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. Because of my dad's interest in art, and my mom's creative interests, our family visited the Frye many times. Even as a young boy in elementary school, I eagerly anticipated going to see the art. I knew someday I would paint the landscape.
A large percentage of my paintings are created on location, "en plein air." Painting outdoors is invigorating to me. I enjoy the solitude; the sights and sounds of the outdoors. I'm driven by the challenge of capturing directly on canvas the essence of what inspires me. My preferred medium is oil paint on fine linen canvas. I love the texture of the canvas surface and the flexibility of oils. I can push the paint around, paint thinly or very thick, create a variety of textures, or wipe it all off to start over if I don't like how it's going. It's a very forgiving medium, yet rich when used successfully. The small paintings I create on location (color studies/pleinair paintings) I use, along with photographs, for reference to create larger studio works.
I approach each painting with a vision of what I want that painting to be, but sometimes a painting ends up surprisingly different. Once in a while "happy accidents" occur in a painting making it better than I had planned. I try to preserve those passages of paint. They are definitely gifts. Dean Cornwell, the famous American illustrator once said that when a "happy accident" emerges in a painting, you should "get down on your knees and thank God for it."
The more time I spend outdoors studying and painting nature, the more I'm impressed with the infinite creativity of the Master Artist. His handiwork is evident everywhere I look. I want my paintings to draw the viewer's attention to these qualities. I have many things to learn by studying His masterpieces and not much time to learn them.