The relationships between buildings and their surrounding landscapes are intriguing. When I
am outdoors, whether driving or walking, I watch for possible painting subjects such as the way
structure shapes overlap or trees cast shadows on them. When weather permits, I set up my
easel and do a preliminary sketch and then start the painting. I also take photos so I can finish
the work in my studio. When the weather is bad or it is impossible to work on location, I complete
the painting with my photos.
For the past few years I have used the pointillist technique, which was developed by Georges
Seurat in the 1880’s. Seurat built up colors by juxtaposing tiny dots of various hues which
merge when seen from a distance. In this “optical mixing” the color mixture occurs in the eye , not
on the palette.
Usually I start a painting by blocking in all areas of the paper or panel with transparent water-
color. Then I apply small dots of casein to build up texture and enrich the colors. Casein is very
useful for this technique because it is opaque, thick and dries fast.
Even after a painting is “finished”, I usually see areas which could be improved and I make
changes. It’s essential to view it as a work of art rather than an exact reproduction of a landscape
or still life.