“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.” –Immanuel Kant
ARTIST STATEMENT (from my recent show at Southern Adventist University)
I paint because it is necessary for me to visually speak about things I can’t put into words. My goal is not to render nor duplicate the scene I’m painting. My goal is to capture the mood or underlying emotion by emphasizing visual aspects that evoke curiosity; to draw the viewer’s eye for a closer look. I want to stimulate an emotional impact; to encourage the viewer to finish what is unsaid, evoking imagination to develop one’s own imagery. It’s the “presence” of a place that moves me to paint. As an artist, I am compelled to paint what I am most amazed and fascinated by. I am inspired by the bold and majestic, but also the profound, subtle scenes that one must look within to contemplate a deeper meaning. Such scenes range from the majestic grandeur of lofty mountains, to the quiet, soft glow of a marsh at sunset. I have always been drawn to the awe-inspiring places that celebrate the beauty of God’s creation.
Many of these pieces are new; but a large selection have been taken from the past to show a significant reoccurrence of the theme in the development of my work over time. Historically, most of my landscape paintings began ‘en plein air’, and finished in the studio. Movement, rhythm, mood, or underlying emotions of a subject are what I seek to convey within my brushstrokes. In my recent pieces, I strive for moody, tonal compositions through simplified design, minimal value contrasts, and subtle color tones. There is an emphasis on atmospheric effect rather than any obvious subject. I’m more interested in my work being about an idea or mood– and this is accomplished through focusing on color, layering, softening edges, and eliminating unnecessary details.
The work featured in this show explores my fascination with land, sky, and sea—along with the metaphors we find in the transitions of these places with our own human existence. Much of my work is based on the transitions we experience in life and nature—land and sea, day to night, mountains to sky, and the phases of life to death. These transitions are where I find myself spiritually inspired, and I tend to seek comfort and answers through prayer and meditation. These are places we go for vision and understanding; this I express in my paintings through incorporating a solitary figure at the close of the day in quiet meditation with his Maker.
Painting gives me a vehicle to capture the things I see and feel at these moments and the opportunity to express what I find in these “visions of the sublime”.