"If you have something important to say, then make people want to engage with it;
make it beautiful, so they will spend time with it."
My most recent paintings depict the landscape as a space where contrasts intersect and accumulate. I am interested in the juxtaposition between areas of chaos and rest, vast space colliding with dense and tangled forms. Repeating rhythms and shapes create a continuity in nature that suddenly empty into the blue space above the horizon. Walking through the landscape overwhelms my senses and painting is the way I make sense of the spaces I inhabit. The onslaught of images and sensations I experience in the world are reflected in the surface of my paintings.
The subject of my paintings are the mountains surrounding Telluride and desert areas of southwest Colorado and eastern Utah. Each painting pays homage to a place that is dear and sacred to me. As a rock climber, I am intimately connected to the areas that I paint. I have slept, hiked, climbed or explored in every place that becomes the subject of my paintings. I paint exclusively en plein air, and title each painting for its location, like a dear friend.
When I enter a landscape I become an active participant in that environment, rendering its image in a different form. My touch becomes integrated with the environment, revealing my presence and my hand as a painter. I have a strong connection to the soft and viscous quality of the oil paint and its relationship to the surface of the canvas. My paintings do not depict a landscape, but rather evoke that landscape through the medium of paint. Robert Henri, in The Art Spirit, writes, "But your work is not, and cannot be, a reproduction, Nature has its laws. Your pigments and your flat canvas have other laws. You must work within the laws of your material."
I want to emphasize that I am a landscape painter, working within that noble tradition that has long been a conservationist movement. American landscapes painters contributed to the creation of national parks due to their role in broadcasting the natural beauty from remote locations in the American west. My art is not an end, it is an invitation. The act of painting landscapes is an act of attention that requires noticing the inherent value of nature.