The various elements of nature usually provide the conceptual basis for my paintings. I express my reaction to what is before me. I usually focus on some detail that has captured my attention, such as an unusual composition, a graceful sweeping shadow or a color that shakes my senses. My goal is capture the essence, or spirit, of the image that I see and to communicate my emotional response on the canvas. Although I use more or less a realistic approach, having latitude to put personal expression into the painting is vital. I have no desire to make a literal rendition of what is before me.