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If asked what the major influences on my work have been thus far, I would have to start with growing up in Florida and my delight in the play of strong light on water, on faded pink stucco buildings, on groves of palm trees and rampant tropical plant life. Then I would have to add the two years I lived in Italy after finishing art school, where I discovered Giotto, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Carpaccio , and the Sienese painters. A greater appreciation of architecture and food came into play here as well. And then there is my love of travel and literature, which are closely related, as reading is just another way of traveling.

I’m a seventh generation Floridian and still spend a great part of the year painting there. I work in watercolor on site and then use these as aids in color and composition for my larger oil paintings. Some of the watercolors work on their own; I don’t try to replicate them in oil as they would lose their transparency and magic. The oils are painted on wood panels. I like to build up the paint with wax medium so that it sometimes resembles icing on cake. This works particularly well in food paintings. For the last few years, I’ve been using a long horizontal format as this shape lends itself well to a visual narrative.

The Open Book series was inspired by the story "The Book," by Bruno Schultz from the collection of short stories, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass.

"Sometimes my father would wander off and leave me alone with The Book; the wind would rustle through its pages and the pictures would rise. And as the windswept pages were turned, merging the colors and shapes, a shiver ran through the columns of text, freeing from among the letters flocks of swallows and larks. Page after page floated in the air and gently saturated the landscape with brightness. At other times, The Book lay still and the wind opened it softly like a huge cabbage rose; the petals, one by one, eyelid under eyelid, all blind, velvety, and dreamy, slowly disclosed a blue pupil, a colored peacock’s heart, or a chattering nest of hummingbirds."

These latest paintings cover subjects I've gone back to again and again: piles of books balanced on the edge of a shelf, swimming pools with the swoosh of a floating noodle, and landscapes viewed through shutters.

I'm particularly interested in the interplay of color-lots of color- with shapes and pattern. I usually begin by constructing a subject/structure with paint, feeling as though I'm carving it out of space. I then experiment with the push-pull of pattern, foreground and background. Glazing the shadows comes last, firmly grounding the subject. The result is somewhere between dream and reality, sometimes suggesting a narrative or theatre set.

I feed on everything: from the cracked and ravaged black frescoes of Pompeii to Renaissance and early Persian painting, from Piero della Francesca to de Chirico, and from Hodgkin to Hockney.