The Role of Travel in the Lives of American ArtistsNovember 29, 2016
Does size really matter?April 6, 2017
On this spectacular, albeit cold, winter’s day, I am reflecting back on such a happy 2016.
My brushes were kept busy with a constant river of inspiration; I enjoyed a year marked with adventure, travel, and discovery. And thanks to good health and a wonderful energy, I was able to chase after the sublime beauty that I find in the natural world. I enjoyed a peace and contentment that I can only explain as grace. I feel humbled by the abundance of support that surrounds me and allows me to continue to work as a painter full time. Lastly, the love that I share with family and friends is, as the teaching says, the greatest gift of all! As the year drew to a close, I felt truly and profoundly blessed.
My favorite things about being an artist…
“Symbol Sentinel” Created for the University of Notre Dame
#1. I GET TO GO ON ADVENTURES
My summer started with a trip to my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, who commissioned me to return to that impressive campus and paint the Golden Dome. I loved being around the students and working with the Notre Dame Magazine staff who made this image into 2500 prints for their donors.
Next, I had the special opportunity to journey down the Colorado River of the Grand Canyon rafting the rapids, sleeping beside the river for 14 days and creating watercolor paintings.
This summer, I once again had the honor of joining the American master painter Tucker Smith on the artists’ pack trip he organizes each summer through the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. This high elevation range is an integral, and spectacular, part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The granite peaks and alpine lakes are very inspiring to me, and the chance to paint them on a pack trip is one of my all-time favorite things to do!
Desert Bloom | 8 x 8 | watercolor
#2 AS A PAINTER, I GET TO EXPERIMENT
For my What the Sky Holds exhibition
at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, I had the opportunity to play with new techniques to create this large format collection of paintings on the western skies.
For this year’s Plein Air for the Park exhibition
, I was really exploring how to take the iconic subject matter of the Tetons and translate them through my own unique voice with a composition such as this. It is not what we do
but how we do it
that matters… as the saying goes.
“This Day” | 12 x 12 | oil on board
#3 THROUGH IMAGERY, I GET TO EXPRESS MYSELF
In this image, Everything shines as it Disappears, I was able to communicate my experience of a family member’s journey with Alzheimer’s and its effect on the rest of us.
“Everything shines as it Disappears” | 36 x 60 | oil on linen
“As the Light Dances” | 12 x 12 | oil on linen
In October, I took an influential trip to Paris. The artwork in the Louvre and Museo D’Orsay was the shot in the arm I needed to up-level expectations and keep moving forward. I created this painting As the Light Dances when I returned home to express this eagerness.
#4 THROUGH ART, I CAN CONNECT WITH OTHERS
In the privilege of creating this watercolor portrait for friends. I realize how meaningful it is to create something that can become a part of their home, and everyday life …perhaps for generations.
“Kai” | 16 x 20 | watercolor
What a joy it is to make art that can make a touch a thread inside someone else. It is my hope to continue to make work that contributes, in a lasting way, to our experience of beauty.
Thank you all for sharing in this year of growth as an artist. It is a profound blessing to have such a supportive community around my artwork. Thank you for being a part of my life and allowing my art to be a part of yours. Your friendship and encouragement is fortifying! It is my hope that you will experience deep peace, much beauty, unwavering hope and abundant love in 2017.