About Roderick

Sunrise side at Crystal Mountain

The impulse to make something beautiful knows no distinction of age or ability, and the struggle to achieve it is its own reward.

A landscape or portrait should go beyond the superficial to suggest the mystery or romance inherent in all worthwhile subjects. Ruined castles, bridges, houses or barns all have that mysterious attraction, a suggestion of stories not yet told, that draw me to them.  And portraits of course are the most interesting subjects.

My heroes have been Sargent, Sorrolla, Lazslo and Zorn among the modern painters, with a special place for Bouguereau. My current heroes are Ned Mueller and Clyde Aspevig.   Ned Mueller has been a teacher and an inspiration for many years.  It has been a privilege to know him.

I have had excellent instruction in painting and drawing from several years of courses at the Gage Academy and workshops with geat painters like Ned Mueller, Joe Mcgurl, Alexander Zimin and Ian McNaughten, among others.

I am currently working in oil on canvas mounted on hardboard or on commercially produced gesso board. I follow the best practices in painting upon advice by some notable conservators. I use polyflax canvas mounted with liquid gel medium on hardboard which I am advised is the most archival surface. I only use dryers in the initial ground layer and use no mediums when painting.

I believe that art needs craft, that is, any “made object” should be made to the highest standard attainable. A collector should have confidence that the painting will last for centuries, since it is not an item of consumption.   A collector is entitled to feel that a poorly constructed painting was not worth the artist’s best efforts and should be judged accordingly, regardless of how pleasing the execution appears.

I paint what I like and hope that others will like my work but in any event making these paintings has been enormously satisfying, even if they have nearly always fallen short of my ambition. It has been well said that one’s reach should exceed one’s grasp.