My paintings begin with a loose, gestural ink drawing on watercolor paper. No rough sketch, just the intuition of creativity. There is something about the energy of those first lines that is impossible to replicate. The pen takes on a life all its own… bumping, skipping across the paper’s uneven topography.  It seems as if the image emerges from the paper itself. I love to combine the integrity of line with the fluid nature of watercolor; which cannot be controlled, only gently managed. I’m just along for the ride. My favorite quote: “Leap and let the net appear.”

 

Anatomy of a painting

Inspiration arrives in a flash of sunlight on blue-black raven feathers, or builds over decades visiting my favorite rock outcrop. By surge or seep, the imagery is manifest. Some paintings, like the “Pup Up” otter, simply insist on becoming.

Many people have asked me, "How did you come up with this painting?" Every one of my paintings tell a story. 

  1. I am not attached to a perceived outcome. Changes happen along the way… I’m just chasing the skitter of ink across paper.  

  2. I need to complete the ink drawing before I begin painting, to let the ink bond directly with the paper. Watercolor brushed over tempering the line a bit. Ink applied on top of watercolor has an entirely different look.  

 
 
SRV 2.the man.background lighting.JPG

Stevie Rave on

Inspiration. One day my daughter Solveig said, “If I had a pet raven I would have to name him Stevie.” When I looked at her quizzically she shrugged and said, “Stevie Rave On.” I had to paint him.  

SRV 4.step one.JPG

I start with a loose pencil sketch to lay out the "gesture" of the idea I have.

SRV 7.JPG

Next, I augment details using ink; this is the moment of magic for me. The image seeming to emerge from the page, in the way an author might describe a character “writing itself”.  Creative alchemy.

SRV 10.JPG

Once the drawing is complete, I begin to add layer upon layer of watercolor washes.

DSCN2100.JPG

I spent an evening studying stage lights on songwriter Charlie Parr for this piece.