Beach Birch

Beach Birch, acrylic on reclaimed Masonite

I have spent the last several years painting the trees.  I am drawn to the rhythm of the trunks and the rugged terrain around my summer home in Maine. I walk everyday when I am there, and the route I take brings me up and down hills and through woods. Maine is famous for its craggy coast and the ground is often uneven with granite ledge poking through the moss.  Many of the trees cling to the surface, especially the white pines, which grow so straight and carpet the ground with their needles.  I see them as struggling to hold on, and they represent to me the connection to the earth and nature that is essential.  Other times a grouping of trees, perhaps all having sprung from a single parent, huddle or march together in rows, creating a kind of visual music.

Throughout the year I have spent time in the woods, either here at home or in Maine. Walking in among the trees, I always come away feeling calmer and more centered. I also feel renewed in my desire to conserve and protect the environment, how we so often take for granted that the trees and woods will be there for us. Protecting the natural world is something that I think about everyday. My paintings reflect my joy and connection to nature, but there is also always the undercurrent of anxiety about what is going to happen to the places I love so much.

More recently I have been drawn to the places where the rocks meet the sea. I continue to find inspiration in the shapes and textures of those rocks, and how they have been shaped by the ocean waves. I am intrigued by the idea that the rocks have been there for so long and will continue to be long after we are gone.

As a painter I am guided by process, I apply paint by any and all means and will just as often wipe, sand or scrape the board as paint with a brush. At the intersection of drawing and painting, color line and texture are the means to describe what I see and how I connect to my environment.

The inspiration for these paintings is the woods, landscape and coast around mid-coast Maine. It is also the efforts to preserve and protect these places that are special to me and many others, including the wildlife that live there. The driving force behind my creative endeavors is to support the preservation of these environments. It is in that light that I donate the profits from the sale of my work to organizations whose mission is land conservation. Current recipients include Maine and Mass Audubon, and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.