My paintings, although realistic, are not photographic renderings. A softened focus of some areas creates an impression, allowing the viewer to become more involved. The composition is designed with careful editing and simplification of details. I am concerned with expressing emotions and feelings; a sense of spirit, person or place. Light and the patterns it forms have become the most important elements in my work, followed closely by dynamic design and clean, luminous color. I often use a close point of view as a means of getting the viewer’s attention. I love the look of juicy, mingling colors. I achieve this by painting wet-in-wet, directly on the paper in sections. I tilt the paper at a slant to encourage the paint to move and do very little glazing. This way of painting produces luminous, clean, beautiful color.
In my workshops, students of all levels are encouraged to develop a personal style and strengthen their painting skills. I gauge the workshop to the needs of the students. In a group of painters with mixed abilities, I challenge more advanced students and give beginners direction during one-on-one time.
The 5-day workshops are the most instructive, since we can build upon each day’s lesson. Much like my books, the emphasis is on careful planning and basic painting elements; values, color, design, techniques of painting and knowledge of materials. An ability to draw is essential to good painting and I encourage that practice. Each day begins with a lecture and painting demonstration. There are often exercises presented to hone painting skills. Afternoons afford students the opportunity to paint and have individual instruction. I am happy to critique student work in private and also hold a group critique on the last day of class. Additionally I teach the techniques of painting on smooth surfaces featuring: Strathmore 500 series, 5 ply, High Plate Illustration board, Yupo and gel, or gesso covered papers. Some workshops are divided between this method and the methods I use on traditional watercolor papers.
Each workshop is special for me and I hope it is for my students as well.