As a kid, my most eagerly anticipated Christmas present was the big box of Crayola crayons. And when I discovered pastels, that sheer joy I knew in childhood, of creating art with such a satisfying medium, returned to me again. Growing up in a very artistic family, creativity was encouraged but with practical expectations. I earned a BFA in advertising at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia just as desktop publishing came on the scene. Since then, I’ve developed a rewarding career in graphic design and marketing—yet while relying almost exclusively on creative software to express my vision, I still keep paper and pencil handy to draw quick thumbnail sketches when exploring concepts.

The ability to visualize and sketch quickly has proved to be a priceless foundation for plein air painting. Pastels are spontaneous and very forgiving, with colors that are permanent, pure, and vibrant. Allowing for immediate, expressive, and layered application, they are also easy to transport and set up.

Painting en plein air is always my preference. It forces me to work swiftly to capture the essence of the scene that’s caught my eye. The challenge of capturing constantly changing light and shadow makes the end result all the more rewarding.

I hope my paintings convey a sense of time, place, and atmosphere to the viewer. My goal is to share what I see using expressive, Impressionist-style color in response to light, shadow, pattern, and texture in nature and in architecture. Being a graphic designer influences how I compose my paintings, and lessons learned in the field—such as selective focus and color balance—improve the effectiveness of my professional work.  I cherish that reciprocity.

In addition to painting in the Brandywine Valley, I also participate in organized plein air events throughout the region.