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Colors are like special friends. I enjoy using different colors to illuminate a certain shadow or show off a stray hair that has caught the sunlight. When using my favorite method of painting with palette knives, I lay in the dark colors for the shadows first then, cover the canvas so no white shows. In doing so, I can draw out the light areas as I go. Layering the depths of color to create as much life and emotion in my subject as possible.

Discovering my next subject often involves a quiet walk down the beach with my camera along to take pictures for inspiration. To encompass the entire scene I use the panoramic option on my camera so that later I can put them together in my studio. Sometimes, my inspiration is less broad, and is centered on one small important element like the intensity of a horse’s eye.

Many times, when I find my subject matter it contains a very enhanced texture, I can see the layers and imagine how I will blanket my colors like the Earth’s strata in my painting. The perfectionist in me always wants to keep adding another layer, to change one detail but there is a moment in every painter’s work that one must simply step back and let go. I always strive to catch that little moment, to release my inner scrutiny and accept the finished product.

Plien Air Artist