My intrigue with trees dates back to my childhood and how I used to love to perch in a beautiful mimosa tree in our front yard and watch the world go by. In south Louisiana, where I grew up and spent my early life I admired the majestic big oaks and tall pecan trees that were prevalent throughout this part of the country.
Attending school in Dallas in the early eighties what I missed most about Louisiana were the lush trees and mama’s gumbo. After college I moved back to Louisiana only to find that I longed for big blue sky and warm friendly people in North Texas with so much opportunity and free spirit. In 1990 I moved to Dallas where I have planted myself and now fondly call Dallas my home. As they often say here, “I got here as quick as I could”. As a result of my migration back and forth from Louisiana to Texas it’s easy to say that my paintings represent a marriage of my past and my present life. A blend of the big trees of south Louisiana and the big blue-sky and wide-open prairies of north Texas.
My technique is accomplished by taking photo’s of trees that I find interesting and painting them as realistic as I possiblle. With great effort I try to closely match nature’s color or to greatly exaggerate it. To create the texture and sparkle sometimes evident in my paintings I take a great deal of time to mix the oil colors with linseed oil only (no paint thiner).
Paint brushes with thin long hairs are trimmed to the point where sometimes only a handful of hairs remain. Once the paint is mixed to a consistency where the thickness of the paint is a fair bit thicker than motor oil but not quite as thick as pudding I then accumulate a fair amount of paint on the tip of the brushes in order to apply it to the canvas and get the pointillist and textured effect. This technique is very time consuming. An average size paintings such as a 16″ x 20″ canvas could take as much as 50 hours to produce. Larger paintings can take several weeks.
My career as an artist started in the year 2000. I have since elaborated my style to incorporate monotone, two-tone, and tritone color combinations in addition to my more traditional blue-sky paintings. The DeGraphi style, an acronym I coined from the words “detail” and “graphic” was started about around a year after my career started. I traditionally would only create a couple of these very time-consuming paintings a year. However demand for this style painting has increased so much that they probably account for close to half of all of my paintings now. If I were to use all the descriptions to sum up my style it would be “hyper-real neoimpressionist surreal pointillism”. (Haha!)
It’s not important how one describes my paintings but it is my hope that the viewer feels drawn into my work with a sense of solitude and happiness. It is my desire that my paintings bring you splendor.