I look for inspiration in what may be considered bleak and desolate landscapes. A blanket of winter snow with a single bare tree silhouetted against a cold grey sky. A band of translucent, pale orange light breaking through a dark storm cloud over a frozen lake or a single autumn leaf left hanging after the first winter storm provides endless possibilities for dramatic paintings. By looking past what one might consider the more conventional beauty of nature, I attempt to illuminate the unexpected.
I love the surprising natural sense of balance and design found in landscape. The line, the abstract space and fractured colour are what interest me most. After a few sketches and photographs I will return to my studio where I continue to strip down and fine tune the scene to its most minimalist composition.
Woven into the design and abstraction is an even more important element. For me, my landscapes must have an emotional content. Feelings of isolation, solitude and quiet pervade in my works. I am not interested in painting pretty pictures.
I also enjoy the process of working with materials that help to tell the story. I paint in oils, applied in thin glazes like watercolour and work towards thicker and more varied surfaces. I want the viewer to be excited by the textures, colours and contrasts in my paintings. Recently I have explored using casein and watercolours on very slick, smooth papers to produce fast and loose studies used for larger oil paintings.
Most of all I love the discovery. Every new painting I treat as a fresh new start. In the spirit of traditional Canadian landscape painters such as the Group of Seven all the way to abstract expressionists such as Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, I strive to create a more contemporary idea of landscape painting.