I go to the wild places for tranquility and exhilaration, familiarity and change, stillness and noise. It is an escape, an exploration, and, most importantly, a way to balance interior and exterior. The eye absorbs and the hand is automatic, oblivious to time, spellbound, moving only to record the current running through me.
The landscape, with its humble elements -- tree, rock, water, earth, air -- holds no pretense, makes no demands. Petty cares fall away, a calm settles in, and I am engaged. Nature's gifts radiate from every direction: chromed clouds backlighting a salmon-tinted paper birch; a wizened pine surrounded by shimmering aspens on a marshmallow-colored granite dome; a royal copse of gold and purple, tended by a hundred bowing birches. And snow: there are more colors in snow than in foliage. The frozen river, a great frosted confection, is peaceful and dangerous, powdery today, crunchy tomorrow.
Landscape is a medium for ideas. Painting is a report on conditions, and the details serve the mood. Better to paint the energy than the facts of things. I love the craft: composition, color (the reason to paint), line (so sensual, so insecure, so brash?)--but wait-- line does not exist in nature!
Nature is chaotic and profuse; it is the artist's job to simplify, economize. Through art we create a parallel world, invent our own calligraphy to capture what we see and feel, and to share it with those we love. We are indebted to our artistic predecessors as well as to the artists of the moment.