Sunshine Painter


Overcast days turn me inward searching for something to raise my spirits. I'm a sunshine painter. Bright sunny days or violent stormy days get my juices flowing. Overcast grey days do it for many artists, and I love seeing their work, but for me I love standing in a field taking in the sun while watching big white clouds drift over head listening to the breeze swaying the rag weed around me. Fluttering monarch butterflies searching for milkweed, lumbering bumble bees gathering pollen, puffy-cheeked mice taking seeds home storing them for the winter. These little observations fill my head as I lift my brush and begin a landscape to bring sunshine to my studio.

Studio work is about creating a moment and an understanding of life. Studio work is about sharing one's life's experience, for me. One day it may be a walk through a field of flowers from long ago, or sharing the sight of a model catching the afternoon light streaming into my studio. 

Today it is the wild flowers I experienced years ago with a couple who were returning their farm to the virgin prairie it use to be. Photos I took with them aid me as I create a landscape that is totally my own. I choose my colors carefully to convey the richness of my memory of that day with them. Others who I've met over the years while walking the land have shared their love for the it through stories they've told, coloring the canvas with me.

I sit in the studio alone but I paint with those I've met over the years. I hear the voices of people who love the land with every brush load of color. My hand speaks for them as I lay the paint on the white canvas. Name of wild flowers escape me but the stories that accompany them come to mind. Painting the landscape is more than creating a picture. There is more to any painting than simple picture making. Pouring oneself into a painting is what makes that painting a work of art. Personal feelings and experiences must go along with knowledge of composition and design, and  a sense of color.

The grey day is full of color now with a fresh painting on the easel.