It might seem odd for a plein air artist to make an artist’s statement, as there is probably no real need for an painter of realism to explain him or her self. But after exploring the idea, a few things should be said. First of all, every realist has his artistic agenda. There are aspects of their work that interests him or her, and for me, I love color, contrast, and the expression of space as much as I love painting out of doors. There is something about these physical aspects of a painting that I generally find in most of my work. I look for places that interest me, places that are interesting in some form of light. I may be intrigued by the arrangement of shapes and objects within that light, or the color that that light brings out. The contrast of shadows and light also bring out color at times.
There are times when I can only work with what is given me, but even then, I try to find the color, the contrast, or the spacial relationships within the scene I see before me. Usually, something intrigues me. This would also include the sense of space within a painting or a scene. Because of that awareness of space, I work larger than most plein air painters, and its why I’ve long given up plein air competitions. Those contests are built for speed, and my interests lie in exploring what interests me, not in besting time itself. I’ll work at a location until I get what I want, even if it requires me to do so over a few months, or even a few years.
I hope that even painting I exhibit portrays the relationships I see between the aspects I’ve mentioned. Sometimes it works out really well, but its up to others to decide for themselves how well those visual relationships succeed, and by time you do that, I’m already working on other paintings.