I was recently told that at first glance my art appears to be a random collection of works by several different artists, however upon further examination one senses subtle features by virtue of stroke, texture and use of materials that distinguishes, or at least, characterizes my work. I tend to agree with parts of that assessment, as ever since childhood I have been chastised for my lack of conformity. One can call it a virtue or a curse, but my inconsistency – I prefer to think of it as my experimental nature – is the only consistent thing about my art. I have finally accepted that this is who I am and in art, as in life; it has taken me to interesting places I would not have otherwise traveled.
Most people think that art is about the end result and no artist can deny the satisfaction of a successful painting in the eyes of others, but for me, satisfaction comes first from imagining what my next piece will be and then implementing a process to complete the vision. Every, medium, material and method will alter the end result and the combinations are endless and this is what excites me as an artist. Sometimes what results is nothing like what I imagined, as the process of art is full of accidents – sometimes wonderful and sometimes not so much; however, as long as the process was exciting I will remember the piece in a positive light. One thing that is apparent is that quite often, works that I personally like are less popular to others and vise versa.
From early childhood, I had always had an artistic flair but I did not paint my first real painting until 1971 and, as I recall, it came with very few accolades, as did my next fifty paintings. Over the next 40 years I painted in short flurries - three paintings here, four paintings there and nothing in between. The decision to paint was always triggered by some emotional event of which my life had no shortage. There is something deeply internal about creating art, which tends to take you to a safe place. I am not sure exactly way that is, but if I were to speculate, I would say that it allows the artist to trade their daily conflict or an artistic one, or it could be that the human brain is incapable of both simultaneously. I don’t know which is true but I have always found it to be very therapeutically.
Many times during my life I wanted to drop everything and take up the vow of poverty but the fact that I did not do so much earlier in life probably had more to do with my lack of formal training and my endless fiscal responsibilities that were always looming. I did however take up no less than eight entirely different vocations throughout my life, which is either a testament to my versatility or my inability to commit to any one thing. Regardless of which is true, I have been blessed with a wide range of life experiences, which I hope will have a positive effect on my art. The act of trying something new and the blind confidence to do so has always been my M.O. I have always entered new ventures with a sense that somehow I would pull them off. I was not always successful which at times plunged me into brief bouts of depression, but I was never bored and I always had the admiration of others for having bold ideas. How my life experiences will influence my artistic future is anyone’s guess but I am hoping that is a positive one. For now I am concentrating on making good art.