Painting is about RELATIONSHIPS.
Relationships between the artist and the scene or subject, between the tactile texture of the paper and brush, between the natural staining and unexpected blending of the watercolor paint and, ultimately, between the artist and the viewer.
My opinion is "ART" does not require a story or agenda other than the sharing of the experiences and my impressions of the scene. Having said that, when a story becomes the essence of the visual experience, it is rather magical. My favorite moment is when a scene almost audibly says, "paint me". When that happens I know I'm in for a treat.
As far back as I can remember I loved to draw. I took my first watercolor class over forty years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Although I enjoy acrylics, watercolor has become my medium of choice.
Thirty-five years ago my love of painting led me to leave architecture, my chosen profession, to focus on architectural illustration. That proved to be a rewarding decision as I was able to blend my love of painting with my interest in architecture.
Sixteen years ago I had the opportunity to pursue another dream - to teach at my Alma Mater, Bakersfield College. I have now retired from my position as tenured Professor of architecture. I taught perspective drawing and presentation graphics. Now, when not painting, I enjoy teaching as well as attending drawing and watercolor workshops whenever the opportunity presents itself.
My approach to studio painting is to play with a photograph sometimes using Photoshop. Once I have found the abstract interpretation that pleases me, I project the basic structure onto watercolor paper. Most of the time this process is a way of altering the image and the composition to arrive at what/how I will paint the image. The goal, if there is one, is to finish the image so that from a distance the painting looks quite realistic but close up the details are rather abstract. As one can see from my work "detail" is what I get lost in, sometimes to a fault, perhaps. But, I enjoy the process of seeing how far I can take it. I suppose if one needs to define my artistic style it would be something like "Abstract Impressionistic Realism".
My idea of relaxing is plein-air painting. The experience of instantaneously responding to what lies in front of me is both challenging and rewarding. I have painted with watercolors long enough that I don't need to "think" - just respond. I never know what will be the result of this experience but it doesn't really matter. Getting lost in the experience is what it is all about.
Over the years, I have had the great opportunity to work with some of the best watercolorist in the nation, if not the world. Among these were Irving Shapiro, Rick Dentinger, Michael Reardon and most recently, Charles Reid. I will forever be in their debt for the theory, techniques and the philosophic approach to their craft they so generously shared with me. Each have played a role in assisting me to find my voice and my approach to painting.