I draw inspiration from history, old buildings, and visual details, as well as from the work of Anna Mary Robertson (“Grandma”) Moses and Pieter Brueghel the Elder. These all combine in my paintings to tell a story.
As I travel the back roads, rolling hills, and lakeside towns of the upper Midwest, I might glimpse an old house, a farmstead, or a setting that charms me. I visualize parts or the entire scene in two dimensions, creating a backdrop for a narrative of the lives lived and events that might have played out there. Whether I am painting a scene in a historical context (as in the Door County lighthouses), working on a commission for a contemporary family and its residence, or constructing an imagined moment in an actual Midwestern setting, my initial focus is on the buildings and parts of the landscape that first captivated me. Then my focus shifts to the people, the families, and the animals that inhabited these spaces—whether in reality or in my imagination. They infuse my work with life, joy, and sometimes, dry humor.
My art is richly detailed. Those details draw the viewer into my paintings—and into the “story” I am telling. As the eye moves over my work, it discovers all the small scenes and activities that comprise the whole, much like the child’s game of “finding all the apples hidden in the picture.” It is the details that enable me to share my vision with my viewer.