Artist's Statement

Gary in Cloud Peak Wilderness

I think everyone at some time or other has the fleeting feeling that life is just about perfect. It seldom lasts long with the bustling world crashing around us. But if that flash of feeling could be captured and preserved somehow we could revisit it at will. Paintings and music both seem to have the power to store and recall those feelings.

Those moments for me are often found out in wild places where the scenery is spectacular, but sometimes the awe comes just from subtle lighting on the most familiar and travel-worn sights.

My painting is an attempt to capture those fleeting sensations in a way that others might also experience them. I love the challenge of exploring a new subject or of painting an old favorite at a different time of day or different season.

Sunrise Hay Fields, Late September, 24" x 30", Pastel

Years of working in photography helped me develop an appreciation for strong design. Whenever possible I try to find ways to unite a composition around simple linked geometric shapes without making those shapes particularly outstanding.

Subalpine Summer, 16" x 12", Pastel

Love of the outdoors drives my choice of subject matter. Trips to scenic places often resolve into a series of paintings. In the end though, I find that the areas I know best make the best subjects. It takes time to get acquainted with an area and to learn how to convey its moods. It's fun to paint exotic locales but local paintings usually end up feeling the most authentic.

As a child I spent a lot of time on my great grandfather's farm in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Those memories come back to me often. Farms and ranches offer an endless range of great painting possibilities. Luckily the area where I live now still has a lot of ranches and hay fields for inspiration.

Down Piney Creek Road, 16" x 24", Pastel

If my art were to serve any greater purpose I would hope it could instill in people a desire to preserve our open spaces. In those places I find my spiritual home, a place where I fit in the modern world. If they can be preserved, future generations will have something to thank us for.