As a painter I have always loved the work of the Barbizon School, Hudson River painters, and several American and French impressionists. Their attempts—to capture the essence or mood of a particular place at a particular time, and their very direct, honest response to the world around them—resonate with my approach to painting. Like them, I am fascinated with light particularly how it creates color and form, its maddening transience, and its ability to transform the average into the sublime. The act of chasing light in creating both plein air landscapes and still lifes is adrenalin-packed, highly focused, and wildly exciting. It’s the type of painting that keeps me hooked three out of four seasons of the year. The rest of the time my painting is balanced by studio work, where the pace is slower and the focus is on carefully composed still life paintings and portraits that are more personal and reflective in nature.

I choose to work in oils because of their lushness and responsiveness. My approach to a painting is traditionally known as alla prima. It is a method developed by the mid-19th century impressionists that calls for a quick response to the subject. Unlike older styles of oil painting, there is no under-painting or glazing involved. Painting alla prima is an immediate, but very calculated approach. One is always thinking about color, temperature and value while laying down abstract shapes calculated to gel into a composition that does credit to the subject.

Almost all of my paintings are done from life. Working directly from the still life, model, or landscape allows for an emotional exchange between artist and subject that I find essential. Knowing that this exchange or connection usually has a limited life span—the model grows weary, the fruit spoils, or darkness falls—challenges me to be as clear, direct, and robust as I possibly can.