While I am not in this painting physically, I know that I am there in spirit. Similar to Japanese Suni-e paintings which often show a tiny man next to a mountain, nature makes my human struggles seem very small in relation. Our natural environment is an overwhelming force and for that reason I love to spend as much time in it as possible.
Another mission in my art is to encourage the viewer to reconnect with the trees, hills, and sky.
I have visited this particular spot, Narrows of the Harpeth in Kingston Springs, Tennessee, many times to hike and meditate. There is a breathtaking view here that overlooks the Harpeth River. It represents the organic quality that I am constantly trying to inject into my art. Nature is a series of beautiful accidents and it’s my goal to capture them. “Kingston” is a perfect example of how even rough and tough terrains can be serene. It’s a rebellion against perfection.
To capture the energy of this setting, I incorporated non-natural colors such as reds and purples, rather than trying to replicate real life. Interestingly enough, while it is easy to assume that forests are overarchingly green, every natural setting actually has tons of different colors. It just take more discipline to see them. I wanted to amplify those hidden hues while still grounding the composition in traditional greens. In addition, I also went kind of crazy on the brushstrokes in terms of layering them to add lots of texture. This gives the painting an almost Suerat-style pointillism quality mixed in with a bit of Andy Warhol flair, famous for his psychedelic flowers. My hope is that “Kingston” has the same gusto.