The predominant theme that carries throughout all of my art is "honesty". My reluctance to do anything contrived or phony has led me to the plein air school of painting. I use a very simple palette of colors that stems from basic art education. I have never enjoyed depicting ordinary natural landscapes. Nor do I romanticize the view. I portray the world in the colors of direct eye to canvas translation. I open the perspective as an invitation to the viewer. I am only comfortable outside if I am around people. That way there is usually something to say about the location and the local society. This inner narration often finds its way into the compositions.
I prefer a large urban landscape, using it as a scaffold to discuss the human narrative. So, while at the U of O in Eugene, I had a steel bike cart made to carry canvasses as large as 4 ft. one way, and as long, the other way as I dare carry. The cart also holds all the supplies, easel, palette and paint that I need. It allows me to work on a painting for weeks, or even months, on site. I enjoy meeting and talking with passers-by that often end up posing to be in the painting.
I did many oil paintings with the studio cart while living in both Eugene and SE Portland. I have always worked in oils, refining my style over the years of painting many urban scenes. Then, one day, my wife and I moved onto a boat. For the next 16 years we lived on the Willamette River, and raised our son aboard our 40 ft.Navy Launch. I converted the upper deck into my studio and used it to paint large wonderful urban river vistas during the warmer months and porthole views in the winter.
Then the boat sank. After a couple of years trying to run a gallery in St Helens, we settled in Rainier.
Now I look for the character of this little town. Sitting on a hill, overlooking the Columbia, it promises many opportunities for more wonderful urban river paintings.