I started painting in 1994, as a little act of solidarity with my daughter, a show of support when she entered the art careers program in high school. Predictably, I got into it more deeply than she did. The urge to paint comes in bouts. I don’t paint every day, but it’s a very rare day that I don’t read about painting, or look at paintings, or think about a painting that I’d like to start. When my creative mind is engaged in the painting process, hours pass like minutes, the painting flows and beautiful, unplanned things happen on the canvas - the experience is deeply satisfying.

I live and work in British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada, a beautiful and relatively unpopulated part of the planet. The complex geography of British Columbia interacts with the Pacific Ocean and Arctic influences on the climate to create the greatest diversity of ecosystems in Canada. The arrangement of landforms, cloudscapes, vegetation and water bodies presents a limitless variety of compositional possibilities. I paint the landscapes and seascapes that I see everyday.

My artistic objective is straightforward - to produce beautiful paintings, to the best of my ability, and to keep improving on my ability. I paint for pleasure, mine and others. I don’t paint pictures to make socio-political statements. I’m not trying to advance any art-theoretical ideas. I don’t try to paint photorealistic representations of specific locations. I support painters that pursue these artistic objectives, and readily acknowledge that they’re valid and important forms of expression.

I use the physical features from landscapes that are interesting to me to produce compositions that I think will be beautiful. My hope is that others will experience pleasure when they see one of my paintings; that they will cause people to stop, look more closely and think, oh, I like that, that is really beautiful - that’s the effect I’m chasing.

I’ve been asked why I don’t paint figures; my answer is, because I don’t currently have the skill to achieve my artistic objective of producing beautiful art by painting figures. While that is currently true, the window of opportunity does, however, remain slightly ajar.

I’m a self-taught painter. I learned how to paint from books, magazines, videos, art galleries, and Robert Genn’s bi-weekly newsletter (a precious gift of inspiration and instruction to visual artists all over the world from one of British Columbia’s greatest painters). I’ve learned a lot by simply looking, over and over again, at good paintings by other artists. The two most inspiring landscape painters for me are Renato Muccillo (British Columbia) and Clyde Aspevig (Montana). Their painting styles and methods are completely different but they both produce sublime art. Studying their paintings is an art education. Here is a list of artists whose paintings I’ve been looking at for many years: Walter E. Baum; Norman Battershill; Franz A. Bischoff; Maurice Braun; Thomas S. Buechner; Don Demers; Maynard Dixon; John Marshall Gamble; Robert Genn; Albert Handell; Curtis Hanson; David A. Leffel; Kevin Macpherson; Toni Onley; Edgar A. Payne; Stephen Quiller; Edward W. Redfield; Granville Redmond; Walter Elmer Schofield; Takao Tanabe; Tom Thomson; Ronald Tinney; Elmer Wachtel; Z.Z Wei; William Wendt.

I’ve collected many how-to books. Here are some that I return to often to keep the learning process engaged:

My son Carl is an artist working in Finland. His work can be viewed here.