Special Painting Projects
I spend a lot of time hiking in the canyon behind my studio Often, I end up there with my sketchbook or paintbox. From these little sketches–or small paintings–I sometimes create larger, more-considered works in the studio.
Near my studio there is a lake, surrounded by beautiful candy-striped cliffs and edged with aspens and cottonwoods. I spend a lot of my time hiking around it, and I always discover something new that compels me to paint.
Many of my ancestors came from Scotland, and not all that long ago. I’ve made a few trips to my ancestral lands, especially the Orkney Islands, and from these visits have come many sketches as well as studio paintings.
The best way I can describe this ongoing series of paintings is that they transform the real into something more spiritual and imaginative. “Magical realism” might be the category. They often have a very personal meaning for me.
I recently discovered gouache as the perfect sketching medium–better than oil, pastel or even watercolor. Much of the plein air painting I do these days is in gouache. I fill sketchbooks with gouache sketches on my travels and for my daily painting practice. Gouache sketches are not for sale, alas.