The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Thursday, January 12, 2006
Short & Sweet
This is the text of my "Artist Statement" I provided at my show at the Coffee Cottage.

About my paintings

The majority of the watercolor paintings displayed here were executed during the years 1999-2001. They were painted primarily on Saturday mornings while my daughter was taking dance lessons in Buell, Oregon. Drawn and painted directly from the landscape of the area, they were painted in 1-2 hours which gives them (I hope) a certain freshness. (It also explains their intimate scale.) The other landscapes and still-lifes were also done “from life” and contain scenes or objects which I found appealing.

My paintings are realistic but not photographic. I like to simplify the basic forms and choose subjects where texture is not so important. Compositional harmony and color is however very important to me.

The British literary critic and poet Donald Davie has described the Calvinist aesthetic as that which “breathes simplicity, sobriety, and measure.” While I did not self-consciously seek to create art with these characterics, it is fair to say that my work embodies these very qualities. This no doubt is not by accident.

I firmly believe that the chief role of art is to create pleasure for the viewer or as Jonathan Edwards would have put it, to arouse the affections toward the beautiful. I hope I have filled my obligation in this regard.