I am inspired by the old masters and using the classic approach in which a single light source dances across the subject. I love the drama of the chiaroscuro method which incorporated the contrast of the light against a dark background. Often I feel like I am sculpturing each piece with the pattern of lights and darks. The objects needs to inspire me before I can start a painting. Before I begin, I try to visualize the finished painting. Over the years I've learned to depend more on my instincts and to have faith in myself. Sometimes I find myself saying "something doesn't feel right". I will keep exploring my feelings until I figure it out. If it doesn't feel right to me, then it won't feel right to the viewer.

Using a view finder really helps to get the layout I want. Unlike a landscape, I want the viewer to immediately focus on the center point and trail off from there. The focal point needs to be strong.

I love the process of creating a painting from a blank canvas. My still life paintings are from life not photos. If a flower or a fruit spoils, I try to replace it with a similar object. Sometimes I find that the change enhances my painting. I always work on a toned canvas. For a palette, I prefer wood palette but sometimes will use glass with a tone paper behind it. In the beginning I sketch out my drawing usually with raw umber thinned with a medium. Most of the time I redraw the layout 3 to 4 times to get the composition just right. If your composition isn't correct, it can ruin your painting. Once the composition "feels" right, I block in color areas and establish my lights and shadows. When I get stuck I go back and strengthen my shadows and my lights; this keeps the painting moving. When you paint food, you want it to look like something you really want to eat. I work thin to thick, the highlights being the thickest to give it that punch. I work on all parts of the painting at once, making the necessary adjustments. Art is one of the loves of my life.