In images I hope are both powerful and precise, my artwork attempts to capture the strong yet delicate energy of flowers, the whimsical souls of farm animals, and the contrasts of the three places I call home: all subjects that touch my heart as well as please my eye, and that I hope will do the same for those of you who view them.
The first among my “places of the heart” is Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula, on the shore of which I was raised. This is a rugged, sometimes stark landscape full of majestic ocean and mountain views. Dorset, Vermont, offers long and somewhat gentler vistas of green mountains, haystack-dotted fields, and also country fairs, where I photograph farm animals to paint later on in my studio. Finally, I’ve recently been fortunate to add time in Vero Beach, Florida to my life. The alizarin crimsons and violets that characterize Florida’s East Coast contrast with the greens I see in the North and have already expanded my palette in exciting ways. As one who loves color so much, I welcome the challenges offered by the unfamiliar hues of each new landscape I see: not just those of the three places I return to regularly, but also those I may visit only briefly, on vacation or in passing.
I work both in oils, which I love for the boldness and extravagant brushwork they permit, and in pastels, which offer the potential for greater detail and delicacy. My artistic “heroes” include the nineteenth-century French master Paul Cézanne, who returned doggedly again and again to such subjects as Mount Sainte-Victoire in his attempt to capture their essence; contemporary painter Wolf Kahn, for his intensely vivid use of color (born out of his own personal color theory); and Canadian artist Emily Carr, who died in 1945 and, like me, was powerfully influenced by place. Despite ill health and other hardships Carr forged a highly personal art inspired by the expansive land and Aboriginal life of Canada’s British Columbia. “Pictures should be inspired by nature, but made in the soul of the artist,” she said in 1912—and I completely agree.