“Countless strolls on the East and West Coasts of the United States
along the beaches, farms, woodlands, native grasslands and coastal salt ponds,
enabled me to discover and capture on canvas, those priceless
moments of the day.”
Master artist, William Merritt Chase had his studio in the Art Village, Southampton, New York near our family home. Over time I became intimately familiar with the local landscapes where Chase planted his easel and instructed his students. I, too, vicariously, became his student and Chase my ‘light role model.’
Chase wrote: “I want all the light I can get. When I have found the spot I like, I set up my easel, and paint the picture on the spot. I think that is the only way rightly to interpret nature. I don’t believe in making pencil sketches and then painting the landscape in my studio. You must be right under the sky. You must try to match your colors as nearly as you can to those you see before you, and you must study the effects of light and shade on nature’s own hues and tints…”
– William Merritt Chase-Summers at Shinnecock 1891-1902, Atkinson, D. Scott and Cikovsky, Nicolai, Jr. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1987.
The light that Chase speaks about is not owned by him nor by me for it has lured countless artists to Eastern Long Island over the years. What is unique about my work, is my depth of feeling for the subtlety of light in the plein air. I freely apply the paint with palette knife and brush to render the landscapes in a semi-abstract quality so that the image, at times, becomes infinitely more interesting than the actual scene. It is the ‘feeling’ of the place, and the ‘essence’ of the scene that I set out to capture.