The genesis of my art is in the natural world – earth, sky and water are subjects that move me. These themes are freely interpreted and sometimes unconsciously biographical. For example, China Reflections began as a landscape along the lines of In the Landscape or Reflecting Green on Blue which were completed prior to my visit to China in the summer of 2002. To my surprise, this painting, done immediately after my return, evolved into something that shows a Chinese influence on both the palette and the calligraphic paint application.
While in Botswana and Zimbabwe, I was struck by the character of the trees–character formed by their adaptation to the hot, arid climate. In an effort to translate the heat and light of Africa, I began using hot colors to underpaint my canvases. Starting with a vivid color caused a complete change of palette. Once you put down a strong orange ground, all other colors have to hold their own against it. Ever since my African experience, my palette has been on steroids!
It’s very risky for any artist after Monet to paint water lilies and expect to be taken seriously, but that is what I’ve done. I sort of fell into it. While gliding through Botswana’s Okavango Delta in a low slung mokoro, my companion and I admired the colorful water lilies among the tall grass. She had forgotten her camera, so I offered to photograph the lilies for her, not considering them as subject matter for me, until I returned home and saw the photos. It was then that I realized what a wonderful variety of compositions I could create with the clefted lily pad shape and the lines of the grass.