At a time before tour buses and parking lots, I lived for close to two months each summer in Yosemite Valley (ages 5-12). There & then I gained an indelible impression of nature's power, beauty, and importance.
My awe was later reinforced by the art and words of renowned photographer Ansel Adams, who wrote:
"…art is about the only way to bring about an adequate and exciting contact between the realities of society and the implications and potentials of nature…man must be guided, not driven, to the appropriate and effective relationship with the world in which he lives. The appreciation of the natural scene should not be limited only to the grandeurs; the intimate details and qualities of our immediate environment can be revealed and appreciated. To protect these qualities will require a new planning approach of the highest order of sensitivity and effectiveness. We are prone to think of natural beauty—parks, reserves, “dedicated areas:’ etc.—in terms of locations on maps, restricted by borders and boundaries...the vistas of the world are as important as the actual contact with rock and soil and growing things. Hence, the prospects, the glades, the lines of the hills, and the vast expanses of shore and ocean, these too must be preserved….You must have certain noble areas of the world left in as close-to-primal condition as possible. You must have quietness and a certain amount of solitude. You must be able to touch the living rock, drink the pure waters, scan the great vistas, sleep under the stars and awaken to the cool dawn wind. Such experiences are the heritage of all people...A more realistic, simple snapshot captures the image but misses everything else. I want a picture to reflect not only the forms, but [also] what I had seen and felt at the moment of exposure."
To this day, I remain deeply moved by Ansel's visual and written insights. My paintings attempt to capture and convey what I see and feel while in natural environments, and are intended to give a glimpse into that world.They are my interpretations of the natural world to instill in the viewer a longing to be there and a desire to cherish and help conserve it.
Late nineteenth century impressionists and landscape art of the Hudson River School further inspire my approach. It is informed by my experience as a child examining the paintings of Thomas Hill1 and photos of Ansel Adams2 while summering in Yosemite.
The subject matter of my paintings is derived from observations sketched and painted en plein air while hiking, biking and backpacking in areas of unaltered nature.
As a young man, I had the privilege of working with CA State Senator, Peter Behr "Father of the CA State Park System" on the campaign to save the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County as a National Park. Much of my subject matter comes from the Point Reyes area.
After high school I attended The Chouinard School of Art, then earned a BFA at San Francisco State University, after which I lived a life as husband, father, classroom teacher and businessman. I picked-up a brush for the first time since I was a young man and began painting in earnest in 2012.