For most of my life I have been drawn to paint a version of this world with an array of landscapes and also sporting art paintings. At fourteen years of age, I attended the 1964 Sausalito Art Show. I remember the paintings that the Beatnik painters of that time were producing and selling. It was cool and inspirational looking at this new direction in art.
My transition to painting locally occurred when I was staying in Switzerland with my uncle Gustave Fassin. I told him I wanted to be a European surrealist painter and convert old barns into homes. Without hesitation he told me, "No, you are not a Swiss nor a surrealist and you will never be accepted here--you must go home to the West Coast and become a California painter and designer." So I did. Good advice.
I relish painting directly from nature. I travel light along Monterey Bay or the High Sierras with my brushes in one pocket of my old fishing vest and a small watercolor palette in another. I'll start free form doodling and gradually hints of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the fog will appear.
The range of landscapes in our state is amazing: from clouds touching the Sierra Nevadas to the chocolate soil of the coastal strawberry fields of the Pajaro Valley, and all the rivers and streams that flow into the Pacific. It has everything the rest of the world would like to have, and we get to paint it. This group of paintings reflects my first thoughts and memories, dreams and reflections, in the way I see California today.