I consider my art representational and my style varies over time and across mediums. If I had to categorize myself, I would say I lean toward impressionism. In recent years, as my art evolves, I find myself becoming more interested in tonalism and the depth of skill required to render a successful painting. When I can, I take online or studio courses to reinforce the basics and improve my technique.
My art always depicts places I’ve visited, or studies of places over time. I love to create art en plein air, but as a New England-based artist, the outdoor season can be limiting. Oftentimes, I take photos or quick sketches to finish later on in my studio. Because of this process, I found it necessary to develop my photography and drawing skills as well. I don’t like to do anything halfway. When I apply myself to a task, my artist’s eye doesn’t accept what is less than what I see. That’s the reason why my portfolio is so extensive and spans several mediums.
I practice every part of the process, not only the painting, but also the pen & ink, the photography, the watercolor studies – all of it. Some dealers and galleries say that an artist should specialize in just one medium if they want to be successful. I disagree. I’m more interested in artists’ sketchbooks that reveal their thinking process, than I am in [their] final painting(s). On the other hand, I can also stare at a Marion Wachtel painting for hours, enjoying each level of depth and detail. Like Marion, my art portrays specific locations that have made an impression on me. After decades of creating what I call ‘souvenirs’ of my travel, I began producing art in earnest in 2016.
I’ve won a few awards including 1st Place, Best In Show and Solo Shows in Mixed Media, but I find painting the most enjoyable and therapeutic. People say that my painting style has a ‘paint by numbers’ quality to it. They also say there’s a feeling of familiarity and nostalgia they get when viewing the American landscape that way. I take it as a compliment.
Sometimes I think about creating my own ‘paint by numbers’ books, but then I get too excited about seeing color on canvas.
What keeps me coming back to the studio is the innate desire to improve – to get better and better with each painting or series.