jump to images


burden on the lives of those he was visiting; he usually limited each location to no more than four days. An essential consideration was which art materials to take. For this decision, Mott's philosophy is best summarized by his remark, "The fewer decisions I have to make when traveling, the easier it is." His compact gear testifies to that streamlined approach.
.....On the road, Mott did only graphite drawings and oil paintings. His favored painting support is 100%-rag museum board; he prepared 150 such panels before he left by trimming the board to the size of a large postcard and applying gesso.
As he prefers a toned surface, he used either colored gessoes, usually black or red oxide, or white gesso tinted to off-white, rosy-brown, or gray. These small supports lend themselves to Mott's approach toward landscape painting, which he says "is mainly part of a contemplative path and a means of making connections."
....He explains that this may be why his paintings have become smaller over the years. "With my new smaller format, I can hold closer to that concentrated moment in which seeing, feeling, subject, and material are all one." Mott traveled with a drying box that he made to transport his wet paintings.
The artist packed about 30 paints primarily consisting of Daniel Smith, Holbein, or Grumbacher, and he also filled a few empty tubes with custom-made dark and light grays that he mixed at home. Part of his plan to be more efficient was to avoid stopping to mix his favorite colors, so these custom blends were mixtures of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, which he finds especially helpful when painting at dusk and in other low-light situations. Mott's basic travel palette always includes titanium white, burnt sienna, ultramarine and manganese blues, cadmium yellow medium, yellow light or lemon yellow,

Tucson, Arizona, No. 1: Three Palm Trees,
oil, 8 x 5 ½. Collection the artist.

"The palm trees standing amiably together seem to represent three friends: my hosts - a couple I've known for many years - and me nearby," says Mott, adding that many of his landscapes have an autobiographical aspect.

Watsonville, CA, No. 1: Flying Gull, oil on panel, 8 x 5 ½ Private collection.

Upon his arrival at the Pacific coast, Mott recalls "feeling both excited and uneasy, free and lonely, unsure how the project's first tour would turn out." He found himself focusing on the local bird life, which he says helped him feel connected to the place.

San Francisco, No. 3: City View, oil on panel, 8 x 5 ½. Collection the artist.

The artist tends to sketch more in cities, where finding a focus for a painting is more challenging. This painting is of the view from his bedroom window