From Imagination

This type of painting is equal parts excitement and anxiety. Our minds can create almost infinite possibilities, and there is always the chance of my hands failing to realize my vision. This kind of risk has potential for great reward. It is every artist's desire to create, and this is the purest form. There is no mimicry; there is no color matching; there is only my mind, my paint, my canvas. 

The above example shows progression of the autumn composition of my four-canvas work, "Seasons". This type of approach allows me to build layer by layer: sky, ground, and foliage, culminating in a realization of my mental picture.

Art from imagination truly gives me the sense of "blank canvas" each time I begin a new work. That feeling is full of possibility, hope, and motivation. However, this does not retract from the joy I experience working from photo to canvas in my own interpretive way...


From Reference Photograph

When I paint an impression of a real subject, it engages a whole other side of my creativity. While some artists strive for photo-realism, I choose to take advantage of my freedom not to simply paint what I see. I try to ask myself how to use the photo, the paint, and my mind to create a work that not only looks like the true subject but carries my signature as well.

My hope is that my resulting artwork evokes the kind of response that I had when viewing the subject in real life. My medium (acrylics) allows just enough texture, depth, and vibrance to do the photograph justice while also presenting something that looks and feels unique. 

The above example is "View from Dunluce" which I painted for my mother as a gift. It was based on a photo captured during my travels through Northern Ireland. I chose not to precisely recreate the image and instead more liberally presented the lush Irish grasses and the pale cliffs of eroded stone.