The landscape has always been important to me. In my childhood, I spent all summer, every summer, as well as almost every weekend throughout the year, at several different family homes in rural Nova Scotia.
I spent days alone wandering the fields, woods and shorelines of those places, developing a very strong attachment to them. The landscapes became almost like people, who I got to know better and better as each year passed. I still feel that same connection to the landscape, and although those particular places are all gone now, I spend much time exploring, and trying to find new ones. I am always searching for that same feeling of connection and belonging, of places that somehow feel familiar to the ones from my childhood- whether they look the same or not.
It is to capture that feeling, when it happens, that I am drawn to paint the landscape. I want to make permanent and solid that fleeting feeling of connection, I have in a moment in one particular place.
The challenge for me is not only to capture what a place looks like but also to have a relationship with the painting as I am making it. I don’t start with an exact idea of what the painting will be when I am finished. All I know is what I want it to feel like- and I never really know how that will come about.
I almost always do my paintings in one go- one session in the studio. This is to allow for clarity in purpose, but also to give the work a sense of immediacy. I want the paintings to be direct and fluid. There is a fine line between overworked, unfinished, and resolved paintings, and I am always trying to find that balance.