I’m American, and have lived in Corofin, Clare since 2013. I paint almost exclusively with pastels. The medium caught my fancy when I visited a pastel  exhibition in my home state of New Hampshire. The colours wowed me. And I never forgot their artistry in the hands of masters.

Since early 2020, I have studied under American master pastellist, Alain Picard. I’m now a juried member of the Pastel Guild of Europe.

I love the challenge of painting with pastels. Unlike oils or watercolour, pastels can’t be blended before being laid on paper.  The pastellist must be clever. We lightly layer colours on top of other colours. Or we place colours next to each other. You’d be surprised how an orange, for example, might vibrate next to a more neutral colour or become duller against another.

The pastels I use range from deeply rich earth tones to juicy brights. The bits of dry pigment made from oxides, ochres and other substances refract light in delightful ways. Pastels are truly luminous. And immediate. There’s nothing between me and the ‘toothy’ sanded pastel paper I use – no paint brush, etc. I love that.

It’s these qualities that endeared pastels to so many famous artists. Mary Cassat, Odilon Redon, Toulouse Lautrec, Jean-Francoise Millet, Childe Hassam, and perhaps its most ardent lover, Edgar Degas. Yes, he used pastels to paint his ballerinas and bathers.

I enjoy painting figures, animals, portraits, still life, and landscape.