These were mostly studies done at Studio Escalier in 2009 and 2010. There are also a handful of Bargue drawings and oil studies that I did with Jason Polins, one still life that I did with Dennis Cheaney, and two paintings done from imagination. The waterfall was painted on location at Yellowstone National Park, which required descending about 200 feet with 25 lbs of equipment. I regretted selling many of these paintings, as they remind me of some very happy times, and thankfully many of these failed to sell!
Eventually I reached a point where painting apples and onions day after day seemed not only futile, but a downright poor use of time and energy. Would I feel better painting landscapes? Portraits? Fantasies? Religious subjects? Perhaps, but it had all been done before, and my historical knowledge was so lacking that I thought it better to begin collecting to secure an honest appreciation of art history. I felt, as I still do, that a work of art was only as good as what one had researched, and my works horrified me by their lack of gravitas and near-total ignorance of history. To hang up my palette and investigate archives, vaults and repositories for all they were worth seemed prudent. Presently, I am emboldened by a strengthened appreciation for heritage–not to paint pictures–but to collect, and share my enthusiasm for collecting, equipped with a painter’s eye, a poet’s sensibility, and a researcher’s exhaustive diligence. What I am trying to say can be summed up by looking at all the things that Peter Paul Rubens collected and studied when he wasn’t painting. Look at his letters, what he read, who he associated with, where he went to church, what he used as inspiration for the design of his house.