You may either read a bunch of boring text about me, or, hear me out, watch this nifty 1:34 second cheeky statement about my art.
And now the text… but why not open some Handel in a separate tab while reading? I’ve included a link:
(or, I humbly submit, one of my early foray’s into music – available here)
I was a very creative child, drawn to the magic of nature, of shadow and light, the colors Mother Nature uses which are so subtle that no artist or photographer can ever hope to truly capture them. I also spent a lot of time in ‘time-out’, at the principal’s office or fidgeting nervously as teachers discussed the doodles that filled my tests and papers (where logic and words were supposed to prevail) with my parents.
High school was no better. I wasn’t what one would call “outgoing”; I was a gaming nerd (pre-video games) and had few close friends. I spent a lot of time thinking up new worlds and vistas for my nerdy friends to travel within, and as a result did some sketching and drawing in an attempt to get across, at least in a rudimentary sense, the wild notions in my head.
Adulthood saw me suppress my creative side – to ‘grow-up’, if you will, and I spent my 20’s, 30’s and half of my 40’s firmly grounded in the reality of raising a family and chasing a career.
The seminal moment for my art, the ‘crucible’ if you will, was rooted in my divorce. I’d spent my last few years in the Navy as a crypto-linguist off in foreign lands, while my world at home was ripped apart by my discovery of a longtime affair. I didn’t see it coming, but isolation, misery and a long held belief in the core tenets of marriage, including no-divorce, had fueled major depression. Sure, I was predisposed to depression for years, but my body was trying to tell me what I’d refused to believe – sometimes fairy tales don’t come true.
As fall turned to winter, giving birth to the new year, I started painting. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but I’m sure it was somewhere in a sleepless night, maybe inspired by my ‘rebound’, a beautiful soul in her own right, who was a graduate of the prestigious RISD, and ‘artsy’. I had always been drawn to the world of graffiti artists and wanted to replicate what they were doing, but add a touch of classical painting to it. I also loved nature and would spend more time than was safe looking at the sky as I drove to and from work. My art store was Home Depot, my tools – spray paint and drywall, the 24″ x 24″ sheets you get for repairing the holes in your wall from doing stupid stuff. My first paintings were experimental and focused on clouds, as spray paint was the perfect medium for capturing the diffuse nature of the sky.
The first four to five months I believe I only painted four or five pieces, most of which reside in a closet downstairs. They were rudimentary works, with not too much depth to them – but I fell in love with art! As the rebound relationship ended and the weather grew warmer, my creativity exploded!
I could not get enough of painting and poured my tortured soul into the work. I didn’t think I was any good, it was more of a way to grieve while holding on tenaciously to a dark promise to myself. I’d told myself that I would at least live until both my children were 18. Nowadays, though I still struggle with depression, I’m thankful that I was able to keep that promise. My outlook on life has changed, thanks to another exquisite soul who inspires me to paint (but I’m not sure why God keeps sending them to me, I surely don’t deserve them). Anyway, I’m in a better place now and art has been the key to that happening.
I worked that medium (spray paint) over the summer, but when the weather turned cold, I decided I had to go inside. I started using acrylics and haven’t looked back. I’m sure at some point I will go back to spray paint, but I like what I’m doing now. My acrylic work has been progressively about four themes that as I work through will eventually coalesce into what will hopefully be a ‘masterpiece’ or at least make people happy. The four pillars / themes are 1) the sky, 2) Woman, 3) Mother Nature / landscapes, and 4) Animals. Trust me, it’s complicated but these will all mesh beautifully one day; I have a gut feeling about it.
As far as schooling goes, I’ve no formal art education. The majority of my work comes from observation and trying new things. I’ll admit I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by going to art school. Case in point, over the summer of 2014, when I started working portraiture, I began to notice certain patterns in measurements of the face. I was ecstatic in that I could contribute something to the art world with this discovery, then went online and discovered Da Vinci had beat me to it 500 years ago – sigh.
Anyway, I hope to bring forth art that inspires, makes people happy, and maybe, just maybe, secures a minor niche in art history. It’s a lofty goal and a hard road, but why not aim for the stars?
Since 2017 (the last update), I’ve switched to digital art. The need was clear, I wanted to stop banging my knees into canvases that were sitting around. Although I love digital art, it helps my people drawing handicap, I still want to get back into painting abstract things. Color has always impressed me more than form, so I will get back there one day. It will be known throughout the land when the construction plastic sheeting goes up in my room that I’ve returned to a passion of mine.