the artist's notebook










the creative life

creative issues

learn to paint

inspirational artists




art as autobiography

With almost 50 years of painting behind me, I have made hundreds of paintings. Lined up chronologically, they are a pictorial representation of me and my experiences.

The loosely painted brown sandals were worn during my college years at the University of Massachusetts. The eight-sided Russian barn set in rolling golden fields was my impression of the wheat farm lands of Washington state. Huge flower canvases came out of my passion for my perennial garden in Spokane, Washington, and quiet, domestic still lifes from my more contemplative life in Florida.

When I consider the work of other artists, the same holds true. One might think of Van Gogh, Manet, Cassatt, and Picasso. How stylistically different each painted, yet always influenced by his or her life events.

We have to paint our lifes in our own way. This is the hard part for many artists. It is easy to take classes, easy to copy a work or a style. It takes patience and time to produce yourself on canvas. And, it takes courage. Courage to know who you are and be willing to put that down in paint.

As for myself, I find great joy in arranging colors and shapes. I know there are “rules” for all aspects of art, but I compose according to what feels good to my eye. I like clean, bright colors and simple compositions. I enjoy objects that fall out of the edges of the picture frame, as if they are just too full of life or too self-important to fit into the confines of the canvas. I like circular shapes and horizontal lines.

Lately, I have been thinking about how to further distill these qualities in future works. Time will tell what I come up with. Evolution is the exciting part of making art, adding another chapter to the autobiography. .