“Art is something I need to do, not want to do. Earning a living from creating art is a wonderful blessing, and I thank the Lord each day for being able to live in a place I love, with people I care about, doing what means so much to me. No one could ask for more.
Being a representational painter, I have to succeed on two levels. The viewer must first respond to my painting intuitively or emotionally based on the foundation of good composition and design, and second they must respond intellectually based on recognition or familiarity with the subject matter. Always, the fact that my subject is recognizable from nature is second in importance to the overall design impact of the painting. But if either one fails it makes the entire painting unsuccessful. Bad art fails in one of those two areas.
I live in southern Utah because I love the landscape around me. Initially that is what brought me here, and it is still the driving force behind my work.
Beyond that, I try to capture the viewer through the use of drama. Ill alter the light source to create exciting light and shadow patterns. I’ll manipulate aerial perspective to create depth. I’ll change the local colors to create a mood. I’ll be selective with the elements I include to direct the viewers attention. I’ll do whatever I need to do to create an image that emotionally involves the viewer. As an artist that is my job.
I live in southern Utah because I love the landscape around me. Initially that is what brought me here, and it is still the driving force behind my work. Zion National Park is a special subject of mine. The first time I saw the place I had an affinity for it. The jagged cliffs and varied colors seemed to change at every turn, like a chameleon. It’s almost as if God decided to have fun with this part of the planet, giving vent to His own artistic expression.
We have a family cabin on the east rim of Zion, and I am always at peace there. But I also have a deep interest in historical themes. My ancestors were among the original pioneer settlers of Utah, and I’m proud of that heritage. I have done a number of paintings which re-create early pioneer life, and I love the texture and colors of the crumbling adobe homes and weathered barns and fences. Recently that interest in history has taken me on numerous painting trips to England and other European countries where I have fallen in love with the rich antiquities found everywhere. I have walked where my ancestors walked before coming to America and feel a strong sense of connecting there. Recent trips over the past few years have taken me to Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland where I enjoyed painting and sketching on location.
I keep extensive pencil sketchbooks as I travel which I use for reference in completing larger paintings later in the studio. I’m often asked if I’m afraid I’ll run out of things to paint. That could never happen. I’ve never had a single day of “artist block” in my life. My biggest fear is not having enough time in my life to paint all the things that interest me. The world is a fantastic place — especially when viewed through the eyes of an artist.”