Landscape paintings give me wanderlust and make me nostalgic. Reflected in these paintings are hours of observation, meditation, joy and occasionally fear. Bear, mountain lion, bobcat and moose have crossed my path as I quietly paint. My bright colors ensure frequent visits from butterflies and hummingbirds. I work from a backpack without easel in wilderness settings. Carrying camp and art supplies makes for a heavy pack. Even so, it is simpler than working in a city as all my basic needs are within reach.
I’ll paraphrase Picasso,”The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.” This is never so true as when working in a city with architecture. Too exact and there is boredom, for the artist and viewer. Exaggeration and contrast is the thing that excites me. In the South of France I would seek out 300 year old structures with satellite dishes on their ancient roofs. NYC enticed me with the Highline. An old rail line converted to a park overlooking 19th, 20th, and 21st century structures. I walk till I find that special place that speaks to where I am at. I pull out my camp stool and paint.
Portraits are the most social of all my work. I'll sit at a coffeehouse working on any old thing until a victim is drawn in by my color. We will talk and I'll get them to sit as I paint them. Most of the works are 8x10 and are completed very rapidly. Often my subject will be performing on stage. I feed off their creativity. A few of my portraits are done with formal sittings for longer duration at larger scale.
Regardless of the sophistication of the art and artist, the desire to commune with the primal is inherent to the creative process. The cave walls of Lascaux and the drawings of a child inspire endless investigation. There are skills to be learnt in art but creativity is instinctual. Psychic-scapes address this instinct directly. Emotion, bodily function, otherness and the passage of time recur as themes. Perhaps it is just therapy. It quiets my censor and leaves me satisfied. Paint is Strong!
Working near the entrance of the Austin Children's Museum was a thing of pure joy. The kids wonder and excitement made me think of my own formative art experiences. Childhood is a time of realizing the power and magic of art. I was blessed by parents that encouraged my talents. How they found the time to recognize and support me, with seven other kids, has always left me grateful. This encouragement was reenforced by educators in elementary, jr. high, and high school. To this day I cannot type because Ms. Gerund (god bless her), at Johnston Junior High petitioned to allow me two semesters of freshman art. My birthdays were always filled with art supplies and books. I wanted to be an artist at an easel. That is what I saw in those kids eyes....mini me.