For me, painting is not an intellectual activity. There are hardly any words to describe what the act of painting means to me. The same goes for what my paintings mean—they don’t mean anything. They are meant to be experienced.
My paintings begin with a vision of what I want to paint. This vision is usually something I’ve recently seen—maybe fields next to a road, or the hillside out the window of my studio, or tin sculpture at a roadside market. The first step is tedious—getting a drawing on canvas, covering the canvas with its first thin coat of paint. Then, at some point, the tedium stops and the painting begins to have a life of its own, telling me what colors to use and how far to push them.
I’m primarily a colorist. I don’t know if I dream in color but I know my heart beats in color. Where other people may see only shades of green, I see many colors.
In my most successful paintings—the paintings that are most fulfilling to me—it’s as if the shapes, lines, colors, and textures flow out of the brush of their own will. I feel that I’m a vehicle for them. This experience cannot be easily described. To me, this is the essence of creativity.
I have an undergraduate degree in fine arts and a master’s in something more mundane and practical. I have been painting in oils and acrylics for more than 45 years. I live in Madison County, N.C., and have a studio in Marshall, N.C.
I almost always love to paint. I paint because it’s who I am.