An Interview with the Artist.
Do you have a favorite among your paintings?
My favorite is the one I am working on.
How do you do a location painting? Can you relate any difficulties about painting outdoors?
I go to the area with the models (usually my children, family members, and friends) and spend the whole day. I tell the models to wander around and do what they normally do at a beach. I use real people and I don't pose the models. Then I sketch, take photographs, and I may do a small, simple color painting right there. I do the large paintings back at the studio.
You can't do a large painting outside. I lost one canvas somewhere in the ocean when a strong wind came up and carried it away. Another time sand blew and stuck to the paint. I also had to learn to deal with bugs when painting outdoors. At first I would pick them out and be left with a smudge. Now I let them walk through the paint to the edge of the canvas, then paint out their little footprints.
I was painting in Big Sur one time, right next to Highway 1, the main road through the area. Some people driving by stopped and came over to admire my work. I enjoyed it when they said that it was good and added," You ought to do that for a living."
What is the process at your studio?
I work on one painting at a time, even though I may be thinking about others. The energy builds up in my mind. I work all over the painting. I do a rough composition sketch with a brush, then glaze the painting with a wash. I cover the canvas with color. I paint everyday, working from sketches, photos, or an actual smaller painting. The subject matter dictates the colors that I see.
Describe the emotional involvement you like the viewer to feel about your work.
I like it when someone expresses what a painting says to them. It appeals to their emotions and they want it. If someone is attracted to a painting, they should buy it. It's too bad when someone is concerned more with decoration and what a painting goes with. A painting does not have to go with your sofa. A good piece of fine art should outlive your furniture. That's what I mean by emotional involvement.
Do you have any advice for student artists?
A student in a workshop will ask," What colors do you mix to make the sky?" I can't teach it, and it's hard to describe. They have to do it. They need to understand they can't be told what colors to use. There is no formula for painting the sky. I would tell students they need to visualize and just do it!
What excites you about painting? What are your goals?
I love the freedom. I feel free as a painter, it feels good to be an artist. My goal is actually painting. I take one day at a time. Painting expands my horizons. I may try sculpture someday.
Interview by Lahaina galleries
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