Masters of the American West opens Saturday, Februrary 9 at The Autry in Los Angeles. The exhibit runs February 9 - March 24, 2019.
The painting shown above is my signature piece for the catalog, which is accompanied by the following text:
I had planned to paint a particular motif one evening but came up empty handed. As I packed up and headed home, I came across a jackrabbit sitting by the side of the road. After a short time quietly watching it, I became aware of something happening and looked up. Realizing I had no time to spare, I grabbed my easel and set it on the ground in the sand to work. After about 5 minutes the color began to fade, but I was able to get the info I wanted. When I got home I worked the idea up into a more fully realized painting, and from there the final painting exhibited in The Masters. The artist must be constantly alert for these events that speak decidedly to them.
The jackrabbit is how I essentially found this painting waiting. I was planning to paint one thing, but the cloud cover came in enough to prevent the situation from happening. After a short mental break from my previous focus, I glanced up and A Glow Lifted from the Sands is what I saw. I hurriedly grabbed my gear - without enough time to completely set up, I opened the lid of my easel and set it on the ground in the sand to work. I had about 5 minutes before the color began to fade, but was able to get the big color relationships on a small panel. After that I made some notes in my sketchbook. When I got home a few days later I used the quick sketch and notes combined to work the idea up into a more fully realized 18” x 24” painting, and then all three of those sources were used for the final painting exhibited in The Masters.
More and more, my work takes form in something I saw that spoke to me, sometimes a year or two earlier. I see something that I connect to, and can run with that motif rather than flailing and searching about in the landscape. I’m less subject to the changing whims of the landscape and better able to assert specific aspects of it that reveal my ideas. I work more confidently.
Framing is a crucial part of the presentation for me, and really an extension of the painting. A frame either continues and builds on the mood of the painting or detracts and spoils the experience. For these reasons I create all of my own frames, starting with the design stage through carving and gilding to finish. Each work is unique so creating the right frame is never easy. I hope you’ll visit the work while it’s on view at The Autry to see the paintings and their original frames in person.