It’s been a while since all of these paintings had a home in one room. They’re finally out of their boxes and on display in our living room where they’ll stay for the next three years–the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere.
This painting, Sunflower, was inspired by my favorite flower and favorite artist, Van Gogh. I’ll never forget the first time I saw an entire field of these beauties, their heads turned toward the sun. I was 15 years old, on a bus ride from the Rome airport with a group of students from High School, chaperoned by the amazing Doc Wilkerson and his wife (the kind of teachers you wish every kid could have). It was my first image of Europe…no wonder I wanted to go back.
Calla lily, was my first “real” oil painting in High School–Mr. Placky’s art class. He gave each of us a chapter of Atlas Shrugged and told us to come up with our interpretation. I had no clue what my chapter was about. All I knew that there was a couple sitting on a park bench by a garden (and I wanted to paint a flower). So I did.
When I think of my hometown in Pennsylvania, my thoughts are the color of red barns, autumn foliage, the Amish, and Wal-Mart (in that order). There’s 2 Super Wal-marts in my town AND a Sam’s Club. But what I relish most are the blue, blue skies, stark and opaque–the perfect back drop for a red barn.
In Greece I fell in love with the open air markets where for a few dollars I could buy 8 kilo of oranges and squeeze fresh juice every morning. The lemons were as big as my fist and the flavors intense. I’d keep bowls of them around the house for decoration and a few times they became the subjects of my paintings.
There’s an island in the Ionian Sea, west of Athens, called Cephalonia. If you ever saw (which I didn’t) the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, it was filmed at this beach. It’s everything you dream of when you think of a white sandy paradise with clear turquoise water. This is my memory of sunset. The archway depicted extends below the water and if you’re crazy enough you can swim underneath.
This is a typical Greek setting…the cross is as much a part of the landscape as the hills, rocks and fields.
Monet is one of my greatest inspirations. I pay homage to him with this painting. Water is reflective, deep, and life giving…there are so many metaphors to explore.
The Vienna Woods were our backyard in Austria. I took more pictures of those trees than any other forest. Based on a similar work by Gustav Klimt, I created this setting.
I love color and the way color interacts with other colors. With this abstract painting I’ve taken my cue from Hundertwasser, a Viennese artist renowned for his wildly cleaver and colorful architecture and art. (A trip to Austria would not be complete without a visit to his museum.)
Trees are the subject I like most. Here’s a close up of a canvas I painted filled with them.
My easels up now and I have lots of white canvas starring at me. I’m trying to decide what to paint next. Birch trees rising up from a snowy meadow, an ice covered lake, any suggestions?