I love the warmth and optimism of summer light. I am particularly drawn to sunlit rocks. The granite outcroppings on many of the nearby islands around Pasley island have provided inspiration for many paintings as well as the play of light along the forested edges of the sea with its varied logs lying on the beaches. The dynamic play of all these elements commands my attention. I love their structure, rhythm and infinite variations. Occasionally a figure or a boat finds its way into one of my paintings but most often not.
My paintings are researched through drawings and photographs. It is through outdoor drawing that I come to feel and understand a subject and design its composition. Almost all my paintings are done in the studio. I like subjects that convey depth and plan compositions that bring the viewer into the picture. When I start to paint I usually focus on the sky as it is the sky that sets the tone and colour mood of the whole painting. Throughout the process I want my brushstrokes to convey liveliness as well as tone and shape.
There are trees, rocks and weathered cabins on Pasley Island and its archipelago that I have been looking at my whole life. I rarely want to abstract or simplify these forms when I paint them. For example it’s the massive shape of “that particular rock” with its slumped shoulders and cracked veins which interests me. The many memories of the places where I played as a boy are significant to me as well as being a member of an island community that goes back three or four generations.
I grew up in Vancouver and spent all of my summers on Pasley Island. After high school, I attended the Banff Center of Fine Arts on two successive scholarships where I met teachers who encouraged me to do further studies in painting. After attending UBC I transferred to Haverford College in Haverford, PA. and graduated with honours in Fine Arts. Later I received an MFA in painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. I taught high school and middle school art in New York City for six years before returning to Vancouver in 1985. The great art museums and galleries in Philadelphia and New York were an especially important part of my art education.
In Vancouver I met my wife Nan Goodship. Together we travelled to study Waldorf Education for two years at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks Ca. After graduating we moved to Duncan, BC to teach at the Sunrise Waldorf School and raise our children. In 2002, after twelve years of class teaching in the Waldorf School I stopped teaching younger children and taught painting at Island Oak High School and Vancouver Island University. Nan and I were also invited to teach art in China to parents and professionals who were connected to Waldorf education in China.
Many of my best paintings have been commissioned. My work is held in private collections in Canada, Europe and the United States. I have exhibited in public galleries, home shows, and open studio tours.