Exhibition card; top image is my “Parade”, Catskill Mt. Life series, no. 6
Windsor Whip Works Gallery
When one looks at my paintings one immediately notices: paint applied with a palette knife, areas of bare canvas, high key color, a distinct light source and figures moving within a (strong vivid sense of place). A particular scene depicted in any one painting is not meant to (be one that I have actually witnessed but instead, to suggest many similar occurances like it common in my community. In my “Catskill Mountains Life”oil paintings my plein air painting in watercolor and my quick, figure sketches have come together with my imagination to express the spirit of a community.
From knowledge gained from painting outside I have developed a thorough knowledge of this physical place, its vernacular architecture nestled into the old, rounded mountains and along the kills, all touched by the seasons. Many years of observation were required before I recognized the social pattern I was seeing within the physical place. From my observations and interactions with neighbors and friends I have become attuned to our shared communal life. I join the two perspectives, plein air landscape and figure sketches to depict a colorful and spirited reflection of place.
On the canvas the application of paint mirrors the undulating lines of the low mountains, rounded and carpeted with vegetation. High key colors are applied with palette knife, often leaving areas of bare canvas. There is a focus on the figure–these persons could be anyone in the community. Each setting though not realistic, is obviously set in a mountainous, a Catskill Mountains, terrain.
In 2007, I painted and exhibited a series of paintings, “Music in the Mountains”. From those first reflections of life around me my work exploded into a series of paintings, “Catskill Life”. In this series I focus on shared experience: entertainment (music, dancing), water, parades, fireworks, food and family, helping hands, the post office, and finally the funeral.
My emphasis is on the figure, not the face. In fact my figures do not have facial features, just the front, back or side of a head. The activity speaks for itself, the reactions of the figures is expressed in the attitude the figure assumes–no smiles, frowns, tears are needed. It is all there in the lift of the head, the slump of the shoulders, the speed of the feet, the outreaching of the hand.