"Little Black Book" exhibition at the Mills Pond Gallery.
The painting to your left is a recently completed piece from my series dedicated to freshwater ponds and streams on Long Island, New York.
My paintings are created entirely in the studio, and all outside work is reserved for landscape exploration with a camera, sketching, and creating small watercolors studies for possible larger paintings on canvas. Nature has always been my inspiration, for decades, water surfaces mingling with landscape elements have been my primary subject to paint.
Each piece begins with the camera, and photographic research has been an ongoing activity of mine since the 1970s. When I find a location with potential for a painting, I photograph the site from a wide range of angles and focal planes, and I return to the site throughout the year to capture the changing meteorological and seasonal conditions.
After I have selected a photo or series of photos to use as subject matter for a painting, I edit the images in Photoshop. This usually involves color correction, cropping, combining elements from different photographs, dodging in and burning out areas of detail, and object removal. When satisfied with the adjustments, I export the image to my tablet for viewing while painting.
The first step in building the painting is to develop the drawing. Because my paintings are large in scale, I create a small-scale drawing on my tablet or watercolor paper that can be transferred to my canvas via projection. The initial small-scale drawing enables me to see and resolve compositional issues, and occasionally I also do a small watercolor study before beginning the actual painting on canvas. To lay in the drawing on the canvas, I select a dominant color that I see throughout the source photograph, and using an airbrush or a standard #6 round, acrylic paint brush, I use that color to create the initial drawing on canvas. After the basic outline is in place, referring to the source images on my tablet, I continue to develop the painting until a resolved image emerges. My paintings average between 200 to 300 hours of actual painting time from start to finish. *see images below