Personal Statement

Painting a picture is like fighting a battle; and trying to paint a picture is trying to fight a battle¯Winston Churchill, Painting As a Pastime.

I consider the decision to become a serious painter my most significant artistic accomplishment. It came late, when I was 45.

I started my adult life in 1974 with a BFA from UNC Chapel Hill. I painted here and there through the years of graduate and law school that followed, but once I started a legal career and a family painting took a back seat until 1995, when I made a commitment to start again and to show my work on a regular basis.

I exhibited my work for the first time in over 20 years at the Cambridgeport Artists Open Studios, and have done so annually since. I paint consistently in the field and in my home studio, completing approximately 25 paintings a year.

Painting is hard work. I do not see it, as many do, as "relaxing." It is not a "hobby" for me; it takes much more effort and engagement to be a painter than to be a lawyer. I think this is because painting involves a certain amount of tension in the repeated decision-making and total immersion in the process. If the effort were less than full, the result would reflect that.

My creative method

I work mostly in oil and consider myself a follower of Poussin, Constable, Corot, and Cezanne. I take my inspiration from the natural world, but try always to be conscious of, and immersed in, the paint.

I paint both outdoors and in the studio and try to take painting trips several times a year, some local, some distant. I tend to paint what I like, which is why so many of my works are of beaches or pastoral scenes. But what I like best is the light and the way its defines everything: shape, texture, and movement.

My last major outdoor painting trip was in 2002, when I spent two weeks in Dedham Vale¯staying in the Flatford Mill where John Constable was born and which he painted many times. I go to Monhegan Island, Maine, every summer. Each spring and summer I also take part in painting days in Boston and Marblehead, because I am painting where I live and I like to give the people around me an opportunity to see me work and ask questions about what I am trying to do.

My goal is to simplify¨simplify¨simplify¨ but at the same time capture the complexity of structure and light, with a premium on freshness and immediacy. Like the pianist, I believe spontaneity requires diligent practice. To that end, I don't try to paint: I paint, and paint more.