Working from life is the basis of all my other work. When I’m outside, observing and recording directly from nature, the wind blows, the sun moves through the sky, clouds come and go. There are occasional storms and insect attacks, too. I quickly block in light and shadow before it changes—or I end up grabbing a particularly interesting shadow shape that appears halfway through the painting. Because I can look at a plein air painting and remember, years later, what colors I mixed, these small works act as a memory bank of colors used to indicate flesh tones, greens in nature, water reflections, sky, and mountains at different degrees of distance. I take the information I’ve gathered into the studio to create larger works.