My painting of the landscape began here in New England after I settled in as a Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of New Hampshire in 1980. At that time, I was not alone in my interest in landscape painting. In the 1980’s, the art world rediscovered the American Landscape Painting tradition and the museums organized several important traveling exhibitions of the work of Hudson River and Luminist painters, some of whom, like I did, found inspiration in NH’s White Mountains, Mount Desert Island in Maine as well as exotic places in Latin America and the Caribbean. I was very moved and excited by an exhibition of John Fredrick Kennsett’s work at the Worcester Museum. His early studies of nature had a concreteness that was tangible and tactile in its attempts to capture what was physically real; while his later work was visionary and transcendent, capturing elusive light and atmosphere.
In the process of painting, I find conversations between colors. A red speaks to a blue and both of them change and form a third color. A yellow turns from warm to cool and creates the feeling of light shifting and moving around us. Sometimes I think that these experiences of color are the real subjects of my representations. The way a color shapes light and space, the warmth of a color in light, the cooling of a color in shadow, how dramatic and expressive a color can be in recreating a memory is what currently motivates me to paint. I know I have succeeded as a painter when the viewer is able to see a familiar place in a new and surprising way—when the traditional is transformed into something exceptional and experienced for the first time.