Nature Close-up

These "Nature Close-up” paintings are direct response to the complexities of our environment.

Sometimes taking in all the things in the surrounding landscape can be overwhelming, so I react by zeroing in on details. On forest hikes, I often stop and admire the delicate coloring of a flower or the flow of a waterfall over rocks, the behavior of an animal or bird, I become just a small part of a larger world and my self-importance drifts away.

It is an easy transition to move from close observation to paint the objects I admire.

In time, I have developed a "formula" for the output: The watercolor is usually small, and there is a contrast between a vague, abstracted background and detailed focal point, which is the subject. The problems of the larger landscapes related to composition go away. Just the pure pleasure of working with wet-in-wet watercolor in the background, petals, or foliage, coupled with the idea that I can be as detailed as I want when I get to the subject provides the release I seek.

Maybe the nature paintings in this gallery will remind you of a stroll through a garden or a hike in the forest…

Painting featuring a closeup view of a Catawba Rhododendron.

Watercolor painting of a magpie sitting on a branch.

Hydrangeas in a colonial New England garden.

Pastel painting of spruce trees and a sunset

Covered bridge in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina

A cluster of mushrooms growing in the fall forest

Gray Heron in a coastal marsh