Where I am in nature is what I paint. My studio, Forest Light, is located in the Piedmont, or center of NC We live surrounded by trees, next to a state park with fields of grasses and cedar and walnut trees. We grow gardens and travel to water and mountains, sometimes to fly fish. Changing seasons, weather, the elements, and especially the light, are constantly transforming all these places.
Being present in impermanence is my meditation as well as my painting practice. Painting is a kind of magic, an illusion of the movement of life, like fire or water, on a flat, still surface. Beginning with a photo of golden grasses in a winter field or rocks in water currents, I remember the work of other painters, even stealing techniques from them! Careful observation and representation play against invented colors and shapes or open areas of canvas. I use oil sticks as well as traditional oil paints. The wax in the oil sticks can create large areas of brilliant color or built up texture. Sometimes bars of surprising colors remind us that the space in the painting is just a trick.
I often shift my materials and approach. Watercolor, with its exquisite play of moving transparent color against the white paper, is as compelling as oils. I have always been compelled by symbols, especially those from spiritual traditions. Sometimes bits of nature are incorporated into paintings of mandalas, or Wiccan and Native American forms, or Japanese and Chinese art. Sometimes the physical bits of nature themselves, bird or wasp nests, bugs and butterflies, wood, lace and junk antique finds become parts of altars or installations when I create a three dimensional context for my paintings.