“The change of light and shadows and constant shifting of hues make painting en plein air a exciting challenge. Every subject, location, or even time of day becomes a new
Norma Jean Rollet
Life changed drastically for me on February 8th in 1968. My world was turned upside-down when my family was informed that my older sister had terminal Lupus. At twelve years old, I was old enough to take on the care of my siblings while my mother spent as much time as possible with my sister in the hospital. I was far from old enough to process the emotions of the situation and subsequent loss. That is when a Jon Gnagy “Learn How to Draw” art set I had received the previous Christmas started me on the road to creating art. Drawing and painting gave me an outlet for my sadness and set my focus on a future less grim.
I have always loved the outdoors. I spent years backpacking throughout the White and Green Mountains as well as the High Sierras. The beauty of it all and my love of the landscape was almost all-consuming. My career in graphic designed financed my outdoor adventures but I still was looking for something else. The fine artist in me was crying to be set loose.
Today I am blessed to be able to create art full time. Plein air painting has allowed me to combine both of my loves, the landscape and painting, into my full-time vocation. Currently, I am painting mostly in soft pastels and love the rich layers of brilliant colors that underline each new piece of art. The long winter months in Vermont drive me indoors, but on location color studies, notes and photographs allow me to complete pieces more comfortably in my studio.
Creating luminosity in my work is key for me. I use layers of pastels and carefully combine these delicate crystals to capture light in each of my paintings. I cover my pastel board surface with a bright and very deliberate underpainting to complement the natural color that I place in subsequent layers. This gives my work depth and a richness that I believe has become my signature style. My oil paintings also come alive using a similar technique of underpainting covered by carefully executed strokes.
I look forward to many days ahead of painting the beautiful landscapes—there is much yet to capture from this region.
Soli Deo Gloria!