The most common question I get asked about my work is whether I work from my imagination, from life, or from a photo. When I say a photo the question that follows is did I take the photo. My answer to that is yes, of course.
I would love to be able to sit for hours in the desert (on a cool day) painting the landscape, having multiple panels ready for when the light changes, much like the way Monet painted. But I'm a mom. I paint in the middle of the night when my kids are asleep. I paint when my kids are playing at the park with their father. Sometimes I even paint while my kids watch Netflix right next to me. They are contained, safe, and satisfied. I couldn't take them with me for plein air painting. That would not be sensible, nor responsible.
We do, however, go on hikes, road trips, walks, and drives together, and I cannot turn my creative eye off. I am always taking in my surroundings, and I have the pictures to prove it. Whether they be of a vast sunset, a detail of a cactus, or the way a mountain looks at dusk. It all goes into the resources I need to make the paintings that help me express what I cannot bring myself to say with words.