Seeing in a Different Light

Gloucester Harbor I, watercolor on paper

Gloucester Harbor I, watercolor on paper

You can’t see anything without light. That’s pretty obvious. But even when the weather calls for a bright and sunny day, the light changes pretty much by the hour, and changes how you see the world around you.

The #1 goal of my paintings is to capture the effect of light. With watercolor, this means preserving as much of the paper as you can with transparent washes of color. This requires preparation and mindful painting. However, I can’t begin a work without first being inspired by the natural phenomenon of light.

Central Park II, watercolor on paper

Central Park II, watercolor on paper

It seems I’ve been covering the East Coast with my paintings this year - from Gloucester, to New York, down to Orlando. Apart from the differences of lifestyle and landscape of these cities, they each hold a different kind of sunlight.

Gloucester seems to have a sleepy effect, something cozy despite changing dramatically from mildly sunny to grey and dreary almost instantly. New York is heavily dependent on seasonal changes. Right now we find a chilly sunlight everywhere we look. In Orlando I couldn’t help but feel and see the warm moisture that pervaded each landscape. The balmy light was tangible, making this an irresistible place to paint.

Orlando Morning, watercolor on paper

Orlando Morning, watercolor on paper

I try to preserve these different styles of light in my paintings. A sunny morning is never typical and uniform. Each work is some piece of an experience. The effect of light illuminates the painting - and this is what I find much of my audience enjoys. From across a room, you can see this effect of the painting - its distinctive quality.  I challenge you to notice these slight or drastic changes in sunlight on a daily basis. I'd love to hear your take!

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