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Painting and early inspirations

Creativity and a love of nature are in my family’s DNA. My grandmother, a graduate of the Art Students’ League in the 1920s, hooked rugs that featured animal life and landscape imagery. My father, a chemist by profession, loved photography and home remodeling. My mother created educational display panels that she took to schools to promote appreciation of the environment. My artistic development is the direct result of the passion for art, nature, and creativity that I grew up with.

Painting first in watercolors and then oil, pastels, and acrylic, I have always been inspired by nature. I find myself drawn to a few themes in my painting: natural patterns such as rippling waves and reflections on water, tree branches silhouetted against the sky, clouds of a sunset, or shapes carved in sand by the ocean; the drama of atmospheric lighting effects experienced in fog, sunrises and sunsets, or approaching storms. Underlying all those themes, and what excites me most about painting, is color. It is color that takes my breath away. Many of these paintings were done from the porch of the cabin my grandmother had built on a lake in Maine.

My junior high art teacher and my mentor at Haverford College, where I graduated in 1972 with a BA in Fine Arts (the inaugural year of the program), were my main sources of formal training. During my summers while attending Haverford, I further developed my carpentry skills by working for a small remodelling company in Colorado.  After attending the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts in Alberta in the summer of 1972, I returned to Haverford as an assistant teacher of painting and drawing and post graduate student for a year.

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