In November of 2004 I had my fourth solo show at Valley House Gallery in Dallas, TX. This exhibit titled Sight on Site featured some of my first works from the foothills of the Cascades Mountains in western Washington, northeast of Seattle. Although I had been to Seattle several times before for short family visits, I did not realize that I could actually try to spend extended time there until the summer 2003. That year my in-laws purchased a very small cabin in the woods and when they took us up to see it, I thought that it was visually compelling that I instantly felt a deep desire, or rather NEED, to paint there even though I had no supplies or strategy to get the works back if I did manage to paint. Luckily my family is sympathetic to my artistic temperament so I was able to basically abandoned my them for the rest of the visit. I immediately drove into the city and went to Daniel Smith Art Supply store where I purchased eight 24″ x 18″ canvases, brushes, paints, etc. and then drove back up to the cabin where I painted non-stop until the day before our flight back to Tallahassee.
That brief but wonderful time in the Cascades Mountains left me determined to figure out how I could manage to spend the entire summer painting there. Luckily I was awarded a 2004 (COFRS) summer research grant from FSU which provided the means for me to do just that. The works I created over that summer proved to be the foundation for an ever growing series of larger Washington works: works that ultimately lead to several large-scale painting installations and shows.