The reasons I choose to paint [a specific landscape] varies from painting to painting. I spend a lot of time camping and climbing, so most of the time I am inspired by the places I visit on my trips, such as Big Bend or Reimer’s Ranch. Other times, I simply see an image somewhere (on social media, in a magazine, random Google searches, etc.) and think it would be fun to paint."
"My favorite piece has to be Purgatory, a painting based on Purgatory Park in San Marcos, Texas. While in school at Texas State University I would frequent the park weekly with my dog Roxy and became attached to it. After graduating - and still in the early days of my painting career - I saw a photo of the park on a crush’s Instagram and decided I would paint it, both because I thought it was an amazing image of a park I had loved and was missing, but also because I thought it might get her attention. I ended up spending a lot more time on it than I had on any other piece and it quickly became my first “break-through” painting (meaning it was substantially better than anything I had created thus far). While my old crush never seemed to notice it, Purgatory is still one of my favorite pieces and one of the few paintings I won’t sell."
Purgatory, 16x20", oil paint:
I love to take a photo or landscape from observation and try and make it exactly the way it is in reality. However, I find that sometimes the pressure of creating something exactly makes it look less like it does in reality. Many times when I refer to a photo but imagine the details and take the artistic freedom to make it slightly different makes it turn out much more realistic and unique. Every artist takes a different approach, creating their own process and style along the way. What I love most about the artistic process is that there are no limits, realistically or imaginatively!
"I paint a lot of images based off of photos, but I also paint a lot of images without using any references at all. It really depends on what I am painting and why. If I am working on a commission piece and the customer wants it to resemble their vacation photo then I will use the photo and make it look as similar to the original image as I can. Other times I know what kind of image I want to paint - such as a Hawaiian beach scene – and I allow the image to manifest itself on the canvas. What I like best though is using a picture as a reference for perspective and color pallets, but not sticking to the image exactly. Landscapes are amazingly fun to paint in that they are created in nature and nature is not perfect. It’s the irregularities in nature that allow me to expand on an image and make it my own by embellishing certain colors, adding contrast, and even by allowing me to add other natural - or unnatural - features that are not in the original picture."
"There are no rules. Art can be whatever you want it to be, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Some may see my lack of formal training as a disadvantage, but I feel exactly the opposite. It is because no one ever told me how to create that I was able to find my own way and am not limited to someone else’s idea of what they think art should be."
"I am currently working on a series featuring images of Big Bend National Park. My goal is to get 10 – 12 Big Bend pieces completed in time to have a show at the Granada Theater in Dallas this summer. It will be the first cohesive series or work I have ever put together and I am extremely excited to be releasing it at the Granada! Other than that, I would like to be involved in more collaborations in 2017."
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