I am forever interested in looking at things! The world of natural “things”, large and small, smooth and rough, bright and dull all seem marvelously interesting. So I spend a lot of time looking at the natural world. (Living in a small town in a predominately rural state like Iowa gives me abundant opportunities for such examination of nature.) The contrasts between the more serene and orderly landscape of a wooded urban yard interest me and new “things to see” in new places always please and interest me.
My usual practice is to begin by drawing what I see. This, after all, is the best way for me to learn the form and structure of the thing I am working with as subject matter. The old Bauhaus practice of learning through visual observation is a practice that I continue. I spend a lot of time making detailed drawings of my subject matter. By doing so I internalize what I know about what I see. I’m slow…this part takes a long time! But once I have internalized the structural, the color and the texture of the subject then I am free to get on with it and try to tell you, the viewer, what was most important about the “interesting thing” I have seen and studied. Sometimes that results in an abstraction of the “interesting” part, often it is a focus on textures and colors!