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My current show is DEAD OR ALIVE: Death Valley, Redwoods National Park and the American Southwest. This landscaped-centered, Color-Realism collection explores the distance, openness, and space of Death Valley, then contrasts it with the immediacy, life, and energy of Redwoods National and State parks. The subjects I work with are protected, but the art gives people freedom to live where they can and choose surroundings that enrich them afterward. My works capture not only an image of the locale, but a heightened experience. Through composition and a seven-layer process, using hand-mixed tubes, I create highlights and colors that change when differing light hits them. Though requiring up to a year of painting, this slow process captures the fluidity of the landscape.
In my Color Realist works, textures and tones are repainted and reworked. Light moves and reflects through the subject, revealing space and form, as it changes the local color of the material world. I manipulate photo-studies into digital watercolors, then project them. These slide shows reveal color and light found on location, they make up one quarter of the total time invested in each work. The virtual plein-air experience of the slideshows allows me judge tones indoors, merging impressionist color with chiaroscuro.
A palette of 42 spectrum and pastel colors, along with 500 brushes, are used to mix delicate combination hues that can no longer be named, slightly neutral tones that feed off of one another making a luminous whole. A brush is used just once to mix two or three colors, then set aside for cleaning. While over 20 pigments are used, they are laid in at various stages throughout the work, lending the final image a color harmony that can be felt, even when a particular pigment is only used in just one area on the final surface. Pigments are used all over the surface make abstract beauty, but the order they are placed in allows subsequent layers to push them back, giving the feel of distance.
DEAD OR ALIVE