My Southwest landscapes are done in the traditional medium of pastel but in a very contemporary style. Using new techniques of applying and coating the pastel pigments, I create work that reflects the rich, brilliant colors of the desert southwest. The landscapes are stylized, minimal bursts of color, with some of the paintings venturing into the pure abstract. After a decade exploring abstraction, I return to the images that inspired me when first arriving in New Mexico almost four decades ago. The grounds are created by myself, onto which the soft-pastel is applied. It is comprised of a black gesso that has sand particles suspended into it. This creates a wonderful surface which can accept multiple layers of pigment. Also, a new technique that is used includes a specific brand of soft pastel that is "hand-rubbed" into a material known as gatorboard. This is an acid-free, very ridged version of foam core, with a hard paper surface. By rubbing pastel pigment directly into this surface, the material "soaks" into the board. It's almost acting like a dye and the result is a softness and richness I've never achieved with pastel before. Also, unlike traditional pastels, these new pieces can be sealed and displayed without glass. I also create a series of small studies done using oil-stick. These are basically "crayons" made out of oil paint. It is a way for me to creating a "painting" while using drawing technique. These pieces are also done on a black ground and are framed, also without glass.