I've worked in watercolors for more than 20 years. My work has appeared in shows in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, many judged by curators of major museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney in NYC and the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute of Art in Williamstown, Mass. My awards include first prize in the art shows associated with Housatonic River Summer in 2004, when my winning portrait of a shimmering Umpachene Falls was shown at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.
When I first started painting, I worked for Consumer Reports as an editor and publisher. I am a founder and co-editor of the Sheffield Times, a community newsletter in Sheffield, Mass. I've edited a book about art in the Berkshires, Art and the River, and written a book about painting, So Many Colors in the World. Catalogs and calendars featuring my work are available through my website. I live in New Rochelle, N.Y., and Sheffield.
Why I paint
Mostly I paint landscapes—trees, skies, mountains, grass, water, light. The patterns and colors are endlessly beguiling, the thrill of catching even a moment of their truth an endless challenge. The land of these landscapes is mainly what’s around Sheffield, Mass., in the Housatonic River Valley of the Berkshires. There, springs are green and other seasons are considerably more interesting to a landscape painter. Some of the scenery is wild, some pastoral, some downright gardened.
Watercolors—translucent, water-soluable paints—are famous for being able to capture light. As a medium, they captured me from my first attempt, a small painting of an orange that was not just orange. Soon after, I started to paint peonies. I love the way quinaquidrone rose unfurls to shape a pale pink petal, blending with a touch of golden new gamboge for the sun and ultramarine blue for the shadows. I typically turn to this subject in late winter, when I’m longing for color, using a sheaf of photos taken the previous spring.
For a while, I painted rusting 1950s Chevrolet pickup trucks, based on a trove of photos taken at a “field of dreams” junkyard in upstate New York. I love the shapes of Advance Design pickups, and painting rust is fun, partly because it allows liberal and luscious use of cadmium red.
Whatever the subject, I like to push the paint until image starts to dissolve into color and light. I like blurred edges, discovered shapes, and depictions that are suggestive, not descriptive. Lately, I’ve been using a slippery synthetic paper called Yupo, which renders watercolors, also famous for being hard to control, even more wild and surprising.