I have always painted landscapes. The shapes and colors of scenes and trees give me the opportunity to develop an interesting and appealing composition. I use my landscapes to tell different stories and the paintings are from my imagination.
People ask me, “Where did you get the inspiration to paint what is below the surface?” As usual, I was sketching while watching television. My wife, Gloria, was watching one of her favorite movies, “What Lies Beneath”, which has nothing to do with landscapes or painting. But, I thought, “What lies beneath the surface of a landscape? Roots of trees, different kinds of dirt, rocks and crevasses.” The roots can represent our families. The rocks and crevasses can represent and changes in color represent what happens to us during our lives. And, then there are dark areas down deep that can represent secrets that we may not tell anyone.
I have collected cigar boxes for a long time. No, I don't smoke cigars or anything. We have a room dedicated to my cigar box collection. I have over 1000 boxes - some are very elaborate and expensive. My wife asked me what was I going to do with all those boxes. So, being a artist, you know what I did - I started painting on them.
My process is simple. I paint both landscapes and figures in a more contemporary style. I start by measuring and marking about 1/8 inch from the edge of the gesso board or canvas. Using the painters tape, I tape off the edge of the board. I paint on Ampersand@ Gesso Board because of the quality of the board, or canvas. I only use Golden Fluid Acrylic paint because it has a little sheen to it. I use acrylic paint because I can make the paint a thin as watercolor or as thick as oils. When I think the painting is complete, I remove the tape and that gives a white trim all around my painting.
I usually paint the background, dark and light areas, warm and cool colors, consideration of positive and negative spaces that affect the ultimate composition. I usually mix my colors on the pallet and sometimes on the canvas. I add layer after layer of paint until I get something I like. Then I start painting more and more of the detail. Sometimes, Over the next couple of days, see what I want to change or enhance or improve or correct.
I thought I needed to keep my landscape paintings and style the same but haven’t been able to do so. My tree scenes seem to get more diverse and my style seems to get more geometric. Maybe my paintings are headed toward symbolic and abstract. This may be a natural progression.