There isn’t a moment I spend painting that I am not immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the natural world around me and then to create something lasting and beautiful from it. With each drawing or painting I hope to discover, and then reveal, the intricate cycles of nature, the luminous particulars that I have come to notice in natural objects, be it the spark in a bird’s eye, a decaying leaf, a broken acorn, or the wash of light and shadow as they play over a meadow, pond or stand of trees. It is the desire to urge myself and others pause and to look a bit more closely, that stokes my creative fire.

Sometimes I wonder why birds are what I was first drawn to paint. I really set out to paint botanicals because I was enchanted when I discovered that these amazing artists were painting the tiniest details of a blade of grass or a dying leaf, or so intricately portraying the petaled soul of a flower. It was remarkable and inspiring to me, the amount of attention these artists had given to the details of the natural world that often go unnoticed. I started by painting botanicals and I still paint them, but when I tried a bird, and another one and another one, something no less than magical happened in my heart. I really think that birds discovered me.

Inspiration for my birds, botanicals and my landscapes is easily at hand at Knox Farm State Park and the Sinking Ponds Nature Sanctuary, both of which abound in field, marsh, waterways and woodland and the creatures who call them home. Nearby Wyoming County has proven to be a treasure trove of natural beauty, and I find myself there with my sketch pad and paints often.

It was one of my favourite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke who said, “If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can become great and immeasurable.” To that I like to add the words of painter William Langson Lathrop: “The finest art, like all else founded in life, is founded in love.” I hope that my work expresses the beauty and spirit of what I know and love. My paintings are me.

  • Joined: December 2015

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