New York City and New England have been important inspirations for my work since 1971. I have worked both from life and from imagination, often returning to the same type of subject again and again. The Gowanus Canal, for example, has been one of the constants in my work. For an artist who grew up in the well manicured suburbs of Rye, New York, the Canal provides a compelling contrast, not only as subject matter, but also in the actual experience of setting my canvas on a Brooklyn street and working “ plein air.”
My lifelong attachment to the Vermont landscape is the other constant in my work. The New England gabled house is a place and a form that has special meaning. It is a shape that is both realistic and abstract, and a locale that is mysterious yet familiar. Like the canyons of the city, it has provided me with an artistic rubric, one where I am able to explore and look for different outcomes. The shape of the house, its angled roof and shadowed side, have become an embedded gesture in the physical creation of my work as well as the psychological icon which propels it.
Creating imaginary studio landscapes provides a counterpoint to the specificity of my plein air work. Studio paintings offer a particular freedom and force me to consider surprising outcomes. When I paint a studio landscape, I feel that the work is in essence painting itself.