I first started painting in 1973 after responding to works I had seen by the French impressionist
painters, mostly Monet, Pissaro and Sisley. Their work struck a chord with me. I started by painting copies of some of their works and in a short time took my easel outdoors to paint from life.
In 1975 I made the decision to paint full time. I quit my job, left school and moved from my home town in Southern California to Northern California, eventually landing and settling in the Eureka, California area in 1977. I have lived and painted here since.
I was very fortunate to meet and paint with several very fine landscape, figure and still life painters and developed lasting friendships through all the time painting together and our life drawing group. Humboldt County is a place that draws lots of people in the arts and has always been a very supportive and encouraging community. I met my wife, Terry Oats, also a painter in 1984, we were married in 88. We both have studios on our property and focus our work on painting from life, out on the landscape or in the studio.
My works in this book are all pieces painted from life with the earliest being the painting titled 'Self Portrait' 36x48, 2013. I am reflected in the mirror, but it also includes all the tools of the painter plus three of my landscapes on the wall.
My studio has a large skylight which is the light I prefer and is the light source in most all my figure and still life works. The painting 'Plein Air Self Portrait' 18x14, 2014, was painted in our yard with a large six foot tall mirror tied to a tree. I'm standing in our small apple orchard.
The latest painting is 'Three Potted Begonias' 24x30, 2021. Several years ago I became very interested in bringing the still life set up into our yard, painting several works in our apple orchard, garden, and then this one with a table, the flowers and the morning sunlight backlighting my setup against the very sparse end of summer garden.
I find just about everything that has a strong pull and personal meaning for me in subjects around my home, my studio and the landscape in my neighborhood and the small town we live in. I really do not need to go far to find inspiration and exciting subject matter. Over the years I have travelled to many places to paint and explore but have found through my own experience, that everything I really need is right where I live.