I don’t think of myself as a realist painter in the currently accepted sense. I work from photographs, which are themselves abstractions – one step removed from reality. I travel further into abstraction by removing details, shifting things around, changing perspective, exaggerating the quality, color, and direction of light, investing the shadows with greater emotional intensity. The paintings wander far afield of straightforward observations of reality, and instead become my own emotional response to the places and objects depicted.
I have worked for many years in pastels, both chalk and oil. At the beginning of 2008 I laid pastels aside and began working in oil paint. Haven’t looked back. While I continue to love the look and feel of pastels, they presented problems: with chalks it was the dust, with oil pastels it was finding a durable and easy-to-use varnish. Now I’m at home with oil paint, and finally understand why it is the granddaddy of all art mediums.