Limiting the elements is critical to maintaining simplicity in the good composition of any painting. To accomplish this, I usually make a small black-and-white sketch on site with pastel, charcoal or soft dark pencil to record basic shapes and values. Off to the side, I record colors on a vertical strip. Finally, I take a few photos to remind me of the mood of the location and any other information I may incorporate later. In my studio, I begin anew, blocking in and building the dark areas, establishing as much depth as possible and also eliminating extraneous elements. I begin the painting with harder pigments, which are easier to move with my fingertips. Three or four brands of pastels in varying softness are used upon a Canson Mi-Teintes surface of amber, which provides warmth from the outset. By blurring slightly along the way, I am able to “see” more of the composition as it emerges and develops its own persona. At this point, the sketches and photos have long since been discarded as references. I proceed as the image dictates. The final layers of soft and very soft pastels describe lighter areas and highlights. This is an adventure!
‘Creating a landscape painting in pastel is a joy from its inception. My goal – using a simple palette, a simple subject and a simple composition – is to achieve an image with depth and drama. The challenge is seductive and never-ending.” “Cape Cod is not just a narrow land of lighthouses, seashells, Rosa rugosa and beach umbrellas. It is a place of magnificent skyscapes, elegant, expansive salt marshes; breathtaking seascapes; quiet ponds; and a healthy helping of good old New England byways. To live here is a bit of heaven for the painter. I hope you enjoy my vision.’