Inspired and energized by the coastal mountains, bluffs and beaches of the Half Moon Bay area of California, I start most of my oil paintings on location. But most of the work is performed afterwards in my studio. I approach each painting as a unique creation, letting the energy of the moment guide me. I seek to convey to the viewer — through the interaction of the composition, the sizes and shapes, the values, the colors, the lines, the texture — the ecstasy I feel about being alive and painting that beautiful view in front of me. I am not able to convey all that I see and feel during the initial outdoor phase of the painting. But once back in the studio, armed with a few photos of the scene, I finish the painting as I internally re-live the original attraction. Most paintings require many layers, usually applied over dry paint. Sometimes I run an orbital sander over works on wood panel to remove or reduce a layer or three. I’m not afraid of big brushes and I’m getting more comfortable with small brushes. Pallet knives often come in handy. Sometimes I never really understand what inspired me about the subject until the very end. Yes, it’s all about the process.
Don Baldwin was inspired to begin painting when, as a brand new Second Lieutenant in the Air Force, he witnessed the northern California landscape for the first time. Oil painting became a passion that endured through decades of left brain indoor endeavors in the computer world and a brief fling as a lawyer in Pennsylvania. Through studio lessons in Philadelphia and occasional workshops around the country, he developed his own approach to oil painting. That approach continues to unfold.