REACH includes plein air landscapes as well as studio investigations of certain naturally occurring visual phenomena of twilight in the open prairie. For over twenty years, I’ve painted on location in Kansas’s tallgrass prairies and have experienced and painted distant horizons with atmospheric perspective, dramatic color shifts and vivid spectrums of sundown and twilight, Earth shadows, cloud arcs, etc.; however, I’ve never focused on each of these for the subjects of a show.
REACH references a reach of horizon, a vast prairie space, an expanse of sky, as well as reaching more deeply into my visual investigations, the physicality of reaching across broad painting surfaces to create the work, and ultimately, reaching the viewer.
None of these visual phenomena last more than fifteen minutes or so. The perpetual motion of the planet reveals peak moments that are powerfully intense and ephemeral—sunset or moonrise, for example. They leave an impression, an after-image perhaps, and then they are gone, transformed into something else.
By necessity, I’m painting fleeting moments; however, they are composites of several moments or half an hour even...so they’re not static but contain a sense of movement, of time and light and color evolving. When you soften your eyes and stare at the work, some similar optical and atmospheric effects from direct experience can be simulated—contrast phenomena, after-images, Mach effects, airlight—even my own near-sightedness when I remove my glasses to blur and reduce detail in the view.
The visual experiments and groupings are informed by science but my process is far from scientific. I’m always mixing it up and can never do the same thing twice. My method is one of experimentation and discovery achieved by spontaneous, intuitive, and often impulsive responses to my ever-evolving surroundings.