I moved to NW Colorado in 1980 because of the “high desert” or low country (as we refer to it) to the west of Craig. The Brown’s Park and Sand Wash areas fascinated me. They had the feel of open unpopulated, unexplored country- the sort of place where nothing has changed in the past 200 years. Romantic notions perhaps, however, so many times it is precisely that which leads us to a place. I was charmed by the empty feel of this country. I loved the simplified, sparse landscapes which showed to their advantage all the small beautiful treasures the area offered up. Instead of being inundated with the magnificent mountain vistas of my childhood- here was a landscape that seemed all the more precious- the crimson blooms of a cactus, churt chips from a people long since gone, water in the desert. Everything subtle and sacred. This is what I wanted to paint.
Over the years I have found I tend to draw subject matter from my surroundings- the place where I am anchored. I don’t always paint what I would like to paint. My heart is still out in “the low country”, we spent so much time there. My goals have shifted and changed as I have worked my way through my career. When I moved to Meeker, I found this was where I painted. Its landscapes are remarkable and varied. On my forays to search for subject matter, I found I rarely traveled more than 5-6 miles out of town. Subsequently, many of my pieces are painted of the river and pastures bordering Meeker. In the past few years I have been commissioned to paint pieces for people whose grandfathers and fathers homesteaded the area. Coming full circle I realized it is the history of the places, or perhaps, a visual sense of history (what it was like then) that fascinated me- whether it is unpopulated desert with traces of a people long gone or an old homestead lovingly tucked into a valley.
An artist cannot paint well something they don’t have strong feelings for, and everything an artist paints becomes in its own way “theirs”. I don’t need to keep the paintings. I have made the places mine by recording them. It is my sincere desire to pass that feeling of a treasured place or special moment in time on to the viewer, to provide a resting place in the present, and an inkling of the past.