Up in the wilderness at the beginning of a day hike. Many times I'll head into the mountains with watercolors, brushes and paper block; find a comfortable rock to sit on and paint what ever comes before me.
Another series of watercolors working to achieve a minimalist feel. A fun way to bust loose and explore with watercolors using quick strokes with a Japanese writing brush on rough watercolor paper. 16" x 12" image size, unframed.
The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow. As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site.
Open skies, storms coming in, sweeping vistas, mountains and grasslands all call for broad strokes and bold light and shadows. I strive for an economy of color and execution that can bring a landscape to life. If I can capture the shadows, forms, space at a given moment with the flow of line and color, then I can start to feel that I have succeeded. Working in such a quick, expressive manner can be like playing a jazz riff, improvising with the moment. I start with the basic composition, placing elements as needed, some planning on where I want light and shadow. Then I throw away the sketch, the photograph, look away from the reality and let the paint, the brush and the water flow.