rlsyiakThe artist puts into shape what he or she has seen, felt, imagined, lived. For my life, that means a variety of experiences that have developed in America and France, in the cities and countryside, among people and animals, in crowds and alone, in two languages and cultures unique but both intensely human.

 

I was born and raised in New York City, and today I remain fascinated by the dynamic life, architecture and ambiance of the city which I express in my cityscapes: American and Angevin and Parisian.

 

As a painter of the city, I am particularly influenced by Edward Hopper and George Lucs, two Americans of very different approaches but two very observant and passionate painters, Hopper’s reputation notwithstanding. He was passionate about isolation.

 

But for 35 years of my life I lived in rural America, in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee where I raised cattle, goats, pigs while teaching Medieval English Literature and Linguistics at the nearby University. Here I developed a profound attachment to the changing moods and shapes of the mountain landscapes during the changes of seasons. It is a region of very distinct people and life: the Scots-Irish who brought their traditions which remain strongly intact there even today.

 

I kept 15 cows and raised calves each year, to be sold in the fall. I helped birth calves when needed, fixed fences, doctored sick cows, took in hay every summer. I knew the animals, the machinery, the rythms of the agricultural cycle as a vital part of my own life. I knew all the seasons of the year.

 

As a painter, I am always interested in people and places, scenes and atmosphere. But as a painter, to me what I see is less important than what I feel about what I see. To me, every object in a scene has a life, a shape, a color of its own that is to be expressed in what I paint.

 

I am particularly drawn to landscape, to forest and field landscapes that evoke their own unique and mysterious charm on each us. Make no mistake: earth is earth, trees are trees, grass is grass, but the light which illuminates them, the air which fills them is never quite the same and it is in those subtle but real differences that I find the most interesting subjects for making my art.

 

And to me, the greatest influences on my own approach to landscape painting are the great American painter Winslow Homer and the non pareil Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh. Both were men who loved color, and although van Gogh was the more excitable of the two, both offer marvellous windows into nature and life.

English (United States)French (Fr)