The form, harmony and atmosphere of the natural world have always captured my imagination. Thus, landscapes and seascapes are a primary source of inspiration for my paintings. I am also drawn to quiet places where nature meets human artifacts and creates an enduring sense of place. The confluence of sky, sea and boats never fails to resonate with me and remind me how deeply embedded we are in the natural world.
Painting in a representational and impressionistic manner, I strive for simplicity, directness and to honor the integrity of the subject. I prefer to work "alla prima" and while not always successful, I am most satisfied with paintings that capture the subject with one sitting - while the emotional connection to the subject is breathing life into the painting.
In order to honor the integrity and harmony of a subject, I strive to capture the atmospheric quality and color - referred to as the "envelope of light" by the Impressionists. This aesthetic is not only key for me as a painter, but I believe it speaks to many viewers. I generally use some variation of a limited palette to attempt to achieve this harmony.
I hope my paintings offer viewers a resting place and a gentle reminder to tread lightly on the Earth.
Although the list of watercolor masters that inspire me is long, there are a few that I constantly return to for inspiration and reflection. From the past, these include John Singer Sargent and Edward Seago. From those still amongst us, I particularly admire the work of Trevor Chamberlain, Joseph Zbukvic and Dusan Djukaric.
Gayle Havens Cooley