||The rolling foothills, rugged mountains, and sharp red rock found in the West have always held great appeal to me. I am a keen observer of the environment around me. I am constantly making mental notes about what is happening to the land at various times of day and at different times of year. As I began to paint the landscape around me, I realized that many of the scenes that were the most interesting to me were found while traveling in the car. The Western United States is known for its stunning scenery, dramatic vistas, and national parks. I discovered for myself as I was making my own journeys to these popular places that I loved the landscape I was experiencing along the way more than what I was finding at the journey's end. I began shooting images the car window, attempting to capture anything I found interesting. Usually, the photos taken along the way far outnumber those taken at the destination. These photos taken from the moving car have become the basis of what I take into the studio to make my paintings. Part o f the appeal to me o f the process o f collecting images this way is the element o f chance and the unexpected. With the car in motion, there is not much time to think about w hat is happening or plan the com position. I often shoot the same stretches of road at different times of the day and at different times of year and get completely different material to work from. These images are collected so they can be studied later and ideas can be expanded on later in the studio. Shape is w hat I think about most when I am creating an image. The idea of emphasizing strong shapes and patterns lends itself very well to exploring contrasts in scale and color for dram aticeffect. I am always looking to experiment with relationships and transitions between various elements in the landscape. Clouds, sky, mountains, fields, silo, sheds, all create interesting and compelling environments. Land and cloud forms are defined in terms of light and shade while distance determines value and temperature of those shapes. As an artist, I can manipulate the elements in a painting to make dramatic and bold statements about the landscape. I can control the scale, contrast, and rhythm o f the various shapes in my paintings to accentuate a certain idea or mood of the environment. I am working to translate a three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional plane. I w ant the viewer to be rewarded not only by looking at the brush strokes close up, but by standing back and enjoying the overall design.