Two decades later, I’m still attracted to what I see here and on my frequent travels to downeast Maine: a work-a-day patchwork of small towns, dirt roads, village greens, barn yards and back fields. Looking carefully at these ordinary places, landscape and memory intersect for me. While I paint, the abstraction of color, light, and shape combine with subject to compose a mood and a meaning.
In these landscapes, the mood may be melancholy, the meaning ambiguous. Both mood and meaning in my landscapes—images of old houses, old farms, old towns, old trucks–have to do with age and time. Like many Vermonters, I value the old. Even when a barn has outlived its purpose, we respect its venerable presence and want to see it endure.
The Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi” has helped me understand why I find these old, ordinary, and sometimes broken-down places so beautiful. Wabi-sabi embraces the aged, the imperfect, the modest, the subjective, the natural, the seasonal, the private, the mysterious. In Vermont and Maine, I find wabi-sabi everywhere I look. In my painting, I find beauty in the ordinary, and try to hold on to the changing, the disappearing, the memory, and the first glimpse.