A visit to Monet’s gardens at Giverny, in the fall of 2004, brought a new emphasis to my work. Spending time with the gardeners, and watching them go about their repetitive labors, in one of the most spectacular gardens in the world, was a powerful experience, and the impetus for a series of paintings about workers. Among my frequent subjects are the farmers of Albuquerque’s North Valley, and I continue to paint at Giverny, Villandry, and other gardens in France. I am interested in the gardener at work, the figure as a part of the landscape, man in harmony with nature. The gardeners’ labors are cyclical and meditative, suggesting care and constancy, as well as reverence for the land. Many of my more recent paintings focus on the harvest from local organic farms and my own garden.
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The inspiration for my painting has always come from the rhythms of nature, from the color and light of the natural world. Much of my work explores the extraordinary light and landscape of New Mexico. Through plein air watercolors and larger oil paintings I have addressed both grand expanses of land and sky, as well as the more intimate, domestic spaces of farms and gardens.
I grew up in Southern California and studied art at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wesleyan University. As an ardent naturalist, I have traveled in Central and South America, Australia, Africa, and the United States, recording my observations in watercolor habitat studies. I have taught art for many years, and live in the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, where I share a studio with my wife, artist Cynthia Wister Welch.