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Years ago, I was riding my bicycle down the Delaware and Raritan Canal through Stockton, New Jersey with my wife, Suzanne. We stopped at the Prallsville Mill and saw a man painting outside. When I saw his work it really resonated with me. His name was Ty Hodanish (http://www.tyhodanish.com) and he had a studio there. I told him how much I liked his work and he told me that he gave lessons and that I should join him. I laughed and told him I had no experience and was severely colorblind.
I took his challenge and we (Suzanne and I) took a set of seven classes from him. His style was known as the Bucks County School of Impressionism. He said, “Once you take this class, you’ll never look at things the same again.” He was right. Unfortunately, Ty passed away in 2018 shortly before I was to take a second set of classes. He was an incredible guy and his influence on me will always show up in my paintings.
Generally, I mix colors on the pallet, but don’t know what I used or in what proportions. I do the same thing when I cook. When people ask me for a recipe that I created, I take a guess, but it’s never the same. That freedom helps me enjoy cooking and painting.
I’m retired now from an extremely stressful job. Physical activity has always been my release and still is. I use yoga and now painting to focus my mental energies. Painting is truly a “Zen” experience with three to four hours passing by before I know it. It’s a little bit of being a kid and coloring while problem solving with a pallet knife and oils, combined with awareness that what you see isn’t what I see. I hope you enjoy looking at my work and I would encourage you to take up a creative process, even if you don’t have experience. You may find the joy that I’ve found in painting. Life is beautiful; and painting brings me to another level of understanding.
Technique People often say, ‘How can you paint if you’re colorblind?” It’s just simply a parallel way of seeing the reflection of light. My instructor always said, “You’re not painting objects, you’re capturing light at that moment.” So the way I see light reflected is a little different than you and for me, it seems to be captured in the color saturation. As long as I can see the “color values,” the end result usually works. The biggest challenge for me is going back to a painting to make some changes or additions. That’s where I need my wife to remix the colors. Generally, I mix colors on the pallet, but don’t know what I used or in what proportions ( a lot like my cooking). All of my work is done with oil paints, using a pallet knife to apply to canvas. I like the richness of the oils, although it is a four step process and there's a lot of drying time in order to not "muddy the colors."
I enjoy hiking, bike riding, and kayaking in my spare time and many of my pieces are directly influenced by these experiences in nature. I love recreating the scenes in oil using the style of impressionist paintings,