Georgia O’Keeffe: “To create in any of the arts takes courage.”
To me painting is not a “hobby,” it is not easy, it is not “fun,” (although sometimes it can be).
Approaching a blank canvas is like beginning an unknown journey, with pitfalls, challenges and unexpected surprises; some of them “happy surprises,” some not.
I call the process “paintstaking.”
Due to the architectural geometry, arial perspective and inclusion of portraits and figures, my “Roadways” and “Today’s World” series’ are especially complex and challenging.
As many artists know, you can fudge landscapes and still lifes, but if you are painting human beings, especially at all realistically, one can spot inaccuracies immediately. That’s why I have studied, (9/hrs/week during 2020), and continue to study figures and portraiture so they can be incorporated into my paintings.
One thing I do enjoy is getting into the “zone,” where I am so totally absorbed in my work that I hear and see nothing else, as if a shroud were over me that shuts out the rest of the world.
I even talk to my paintings, sometimes swear at them if things are not going well, and thank them when they are!
However, I find that day to day distractions often make it difficult to have this concentrated situation. That’s why I applied and was accepted into an Artist Residency in France for a month.
While there, I painted a large (32”x28”) painting in about two weeks, including a landscape background with a portrait in the foreground; (“Leonie in Colors”).
This was a record for me, and surprised me that I could finish such a large, detailed painting in such a short time! It gave me the confidence to know that I have the technique and knowledge to do this. (The painting was accepted into an international exhibition.)
Now I apply this concentration as I paint in my studio.
Many of my paintings are local, including “Van Ness Ave, Santa Cruz,” which is the street I live on, and was one of my first “Location” paintings. “Downtown Santa Cruz” is my candy colored version of my town’s downtown, where five streets converge. (The geometry of the crosswalks was especially challenging to get right!)
The Davenport paintings are of a town about 10 miles from Santa Cruz. It’s a place I often go to, both to eat at the iconic restaurants (the RoadHouse and the Whale City Bakery) and to hike down from the Bluffs to a path by the ocean. I like the small town feel.
My “Hidden Valley” landscape paintings are of a lovely valley that is only seen very briefly while driving on CA Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.
I intend my paintings to pose questions for the viewer; figuring out where the roads may lead, and to evoke a sense of recognition or deja vu, whether or not they have actually been to these places, as well as to create a sense of community in how we all dealt with and are dealing with difficult situations, such as Covid and immigration, in “Today’s World.”