"When I was ten years old, I was lying on the ground, looking up at a blue sky with fast-moving cotton ball clouds. I thought, 'I must always remember this sky and the beautiful day. I should memorize each cloud.' Of course, what I really wanted to remember was how that sky, that day, that moment made me feel. When I was eleven, I painted a landscape from my imagination and, not surprisingly, it has my memory of that sky.
"Our experience of a moment in time is fleeting, but if I can capture the memory of the visual/emotional link, I can create a sense of that time and that place. My imaginary landscapes are not literal depictions of New England (where I paint), but are built of visual and emotional memories.
"Looking at landscape painting can have the function of putting oneself into another world, another moment. Just as music transports, so do visual images.
"For me the landscape always connects my inner being with the outside world. Looking at a tree can make me feel the glory of the world; for that matter, so can a leaf floating to the ground. The beauty of the physical, visual world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to renew itself.
"Leonardo Da Vinci said, 'Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.'" - Ira Barkoff