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Finding inspiration

White Ibis.
A White Ibis wading through the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Every year, I am extremely fortunate to spend some time on the Gulf of Mexico at our family's vacation apartment. It's the perfect getaway for me after a busy year of teaching in a college. But most importantly, it serves as an opportunity to recharge the inspiration well that feeds my abstract ocean paintings. There is nothing better than heading down to the beach in the early morning and capturing images of the ocean waves and cloud formations.

I prefer to shoot with my Nikon DSLR, and the results are always quite pleasing. Having complete control over my settings to shoot high resolution images is always my first choice. However, lately I have found myself shooting more and more with my iPhone, mostly because it's small and convenient – it's like having a camera always readily available in my back pocket. But it's not only the convenience of having a light and portable camera always available that has me reaching for my phone. Truthfully, I'm super-impressed with the quality of the images that the iPhones are producing these past few years! I'm currently shooting with an iPhone 7 and the results are always surprisingly good. I can only imagine the the newer phones are even better.

Regardless, of the equipment I choose to use, my goal is to create a catalogue of inspiring images that can serve as a reference when I'm creating my paintings. I return to these images time and again when I'm in my studio to inspire the direction of my work and to inform me on composition and colour choices. My photos serve not only as a memory for me, but they have also become an essential part of my studio practice.

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