The open road is one of my recurring themes. I'm returning to it again, and it never gets old. I think that the theme of road trip is loaded with possibilities. Many of us have special memories of road trips taken as a child - perhaps piling into dad's old station wagon to drive to Grandma's place three states away. Or may be your first real adventure during college years. Just you, your best buddy, $100, and a beat up Honda.
You can just hear Janis Joplin blasting from the AM radio and you don't even care that you don't have a reservation at a motel that night. In fact you don't know where you're going. You don't even know where you are at any given point. There's a real sense of freedom when you're behind the wheel on such a trip, isn't there? It's a mixture of uncertainty, hope, adventure... These are the emotions that I like to explore, and try to trigger in my paintings.
A lot of the times, I just end up with a pretty landscape painting that doesn't do much else. But sometimes it causes a stir in myself, and I know I've got something. The emotional response is an elusive thing for a "mere" landscape painting, but well worth pursuing. When people connect with a painting in a really personal way, even though the picture shows nothing but a road, trees and the open landscape, it's a powerful thing.
I can't say what it is that differentiates a simple landscape painting that triggers an emotional response and one that doesn't, but there's definitely something there. The quality of light has a lot to do with it, but what about it? If I can pinpoint that factor and paint it on purpose, that would certainly be an achievement.
These are all small paintings; 6 x 8 inches. I have a bunch more and I will share them here as I photograph them. Once I go through all my current 6 x 8 panels, I'll go to 9 x 12's and then larger. I intend to eventually get to bigger paintings for my show this fall.