I grew up on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts USA. Due to its isolation, of location and perspective, I find its influence still shaping my vision. Even though I now reside on Cape Cod, going from island to sand bar, the ocean, the fog, and extremes in quiet and mayhem still drive me.
May Sarton expressed it beautifully when she wrote:
“Islands are for people who are islands,
Who have always been detached from the main
For a purpose, or because they crave
The free within the framed as poets do,
The solitary for whom being alone
Is not loneliness but fertile good.”
The “good” came in the form of time to pursue the act of making art and the excitement to embrace a distorted perspective. One that remains emotionally true while taking liberties with reality. This desire for honest expression has shaped the way I paint. I usually start with a number of sketches. I prefer this over photography because there is an editing that takes place between eye mind and hand. I’m surprised to go back to a scene with the sketch in hand and notice what I omitted. At the time I was drawing they were things that were less important to me than what made it onto the page, not part of my reality. I then take sketches to a canvas and rearrange, not for perspective but for a composition, the scene twist and the impossible appears. Whatever was important grows, people who introduced themselves into my day are often introduced into the painting’s composition. I then go back to paint en plein air which I find helps me harmonize colors and texture. All the while editing my relationship to the scene before me. There are so many possibilities!