Outside the studio, my painting world is intricate and unpredictable. Nature deserves respectful attention but too slavish an approach may overwhelm the sublime. A member of the scene as well as an observer, I balance between the unconscious and the conscious as I work.
To draw well I had to overcome preconceptions and trust my hand and eye. In a transfixed state, I learned to follow a line where it led me. Yet I also learned to read angles, measure proportions, use an imaginary grid -- analyzing in order to make a realistic rendering. Again, I swing back and forth between states of mind. In this process, I work best alone. Choices are unspoken, and inexplicable, but I believe in them.
I grew up in an artistic family down a mile-long sandy road on Bogue Sound, in Carteret County, North Carolina. Before finding my way to painting, I was a writer, a journalist, and an investigator for attorneys. The journey back to art began with portraits of people, including three retired judges. In 1992 I ventured outside, painting hundreds of small watercolors and oils. In the last five years I have slowed the pace, and enlarged the work.
My companions, besides my patient dog, are the beings that I meet-- the snakes, turtles, birds, plants such as the stately thistle, and individual tree characters which have become more familiar through a collection of nature guides. I perch atop ancient rocks and see the signs of human enterprise and habitation in the rivers and forests and fields. Revealed everywhere is the natural history of storms and floods, droughts and rains, and the constant seasons.
The paintings on this web site are of places near where I have lived for most of my life. I have studied and revisited Duke Forest, the Eno River, the Flat River, and various abandoned homesteads for months and in some cases, for years. Outdoor painting is persistently humbling. My hope is to achieve naturalistic and balanced representations of particular places.