I spent the first
36 years of my life not painting, fighting an overwhelming urge to try,
because I didn't know how. In 1994 I came across a coupon for paints
and brushes and figured I'd give this painting thing a try.
I bought a 'starter' set of acrylics, and started to mess around a bit,
pushing some paint around on a canvas. It was weird that something
I've never done before could seem so familiar. After a few months I
bought some oils......and I found what felt like an old friend. I
never had art again in school after the 7th grade, so colors, and
the mixing thereof, weren't given much thought. But when I started
painting, the weird thing was, I always knew how to mix what I
wanted, it just came.
The whole painting thing has been quite the experience, one day never
having stood foot in an art gallery or museum, and the next day,
living and breathing paint like it was my lifeblood.
In 1995 I quit a career 'corporate' job, as it was sucking the life out
of me. I moved back to my native southern California, to figure out
a career change. To make a long story short, I ended up working at
an art gallery 3 days per week, framing art/designing frames, and painting the rest
of the time. Money was real tight, but this was a great time of my
When I first began painting, I pondered for the longest time....what
shall I paint? Pondered is the wrong word, more like struggled. When
I would think of something to paint, I'd ask myself, 'would anybody
think that was worth painting?'. After about 3 months of that, it
finally dawned on me, if I thought it was worth painting, it was
worth painting. What did I care what other people thought? I didn't.
So to me, that was step one, almost like gaining the confidence to
do what I wanted.
Throughout my working career, confidence is not something I lacked. I'm a
walking billboard for an argument in favor of the powers of positive
So once I found my 'natural' confidence in painting, I never hesitated in
painting what I felt like painting. Never. If you are new to
painting, or old, and you hesitate in painting something, or have
the evil 'creative block', get back to basics, to what's important
to you, period, after all that's why you paint, right? Right?
Many of my paintings have some sort of social context to them, whether
blatant or masked. Some of my paintings deal with that human thing,
emotions. Most of my work is optimistic in nature, I believe, as it
reflects my outlook. Never say die! Then there are some of my
paintings that are images that I saw in my mind and just had to get
down on canvas.
One of the coolest things about art is that it is so subjective. I have
one meaning. One person see's it. Another see's something else. Yet
another doesn't see a thing except for some screwed up picture. I've
never been offended by someone if they didn't like my work, the
truth of the matter is, I didn't paint it for them anyway. By
contrast, I feel drawn to those that do truly 'see' what I'm saying.
Almost like a kindred spirit. I might be wrong, but I feel if
someone can see a message I'm conveying, because truthfully most
don't, we are somehow connected in a similar thought pattern. And
since I know mine is genuine, I feel that the person that I've
connected with is, as well. Might by naive, but I don't think so.
This is real stuff. Hope. Love. Optimism. Stuff we all need more of.
We all have idiosyncrasies, and I'm no different. I like forks, not
spoons. Odd numbers, not even. I won't eat a pickle that has a
defect. I am obsessed with the shapes of anvils and Fender
Stratocaster guitars. I don't particularly care to touch food with
my hands. If you've been eating fried chicken, keep those shiny,
greasy fingers away! One issue that I've tried to stop, but can't,
is painting with tiny brushes. If a brush doesn't have at least 2
zeros in it, it's too big. So consequently, I paint really slow. My
painting 'Hope', at 22" x 40", took me a year and half to paint.
I'll pick up a larger brush, one that some would think appropriate
for the job, but by the time I can ash my cigarette, I have a '000'
brush in my hand, without even knowing it.
In 1995, when I moved to southern California, working 3 days a week at
the gallery, was my most productive time spent painting. At the
urging of friends and relatives, I entered an art show here and
there, and always did really well. In 1998 I was fortunate enough to
have been included in an exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum, which was
the first time my art was 'exposed' to a more than local art show
going crowd. Within a week I had offers from 2 galleries, to
represent me and my work. I met with them to see what the deal was.
By this time I was 40 years old and was in a good place, poor, but
good. Both galleries required some sort of 'creative input', not for
all art, but for some. Basically it came down to producing art to
match the latest fad in colors for peoples couches. I don't have
anything against people wanting to match art with their couch,
whatever turns you on, but there was no way I was going to
paint pictures in mauve because it was a hot color. Don't care. So I
decided then, two things: 1. I haven't met the gallery that was
right for me. And 2., maybe selling through galleries was not the
way for me. Either way, I was only going to paint what I felt like
painting. I don't care if I'm guaranteed a stipend, blah, blah,
blah. If painting becomes work, I have no interest in it. This is
when I built my first web site.
I did numerous shows from 1995 to 2000 and had more meetings with other
galleries, but never found the 'one'. When I would meet with a
gallery to show my work, every single one, before even looking at my
art, first wanted to know where I received my degree from. I always
assumed that most galleries were owned by degreed artists that found
it hard to make a living with their art, so there was no way some
Gomer off the street was going to do better than them. Then again,
maybe not. So I never had a real good taste in my mouth about
galleries, and of course that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of
good ones out there. Art Angles Gallery in Orange, CA, was the best
gallery I've ever dealt with.
In 2000, a guy from Scottsdale, that owned a couple of galleries, came
across my work in searching the web. He wired me the bucks for 2
paintings and about 8 prints, it was awesome. He was a member of the
Phoenix Art Museum board,
and never once said anything about
matching the current trend in interior decorating colors or
received a piece of paper stating that I was an artist. I thought I
found the 'one' I was looking for. He had some big plans. Then one
day, he just disappeared. His galleries closed and I never heard
from him again.
It's 2013. Where did the last decade go? It's just a blur. For whatever
reason I seem to have an inability to be able to balance painting
and working full time, to me the two don't mix. I am all or nothing
when it comes to anything that means anything, so whether it be work
or art, I am all in, period. So it has become apparent that when
working full time there just isn't much left, especially creatively
speaking. I generally paint about things associated with work, or
the social meaning, so for me it just seems impossible to comment at
that time, because I'm observing a future painting.
It's May 2013, the time has come to take my place in front of my easel
I quit my job, gulp, and am going for the gusto, painting and trying
to make a living at home.
In celebration, I've put up 7 of my 'personal' paintings for sale, all
I have kept since creating them, resisting offers of temptation to
part with them, because of the meaning they had to me, but the time
is now to let them go, so please take a look at this
page for these 7 special paintings, well special to me.
Thank you for your interest. I have a head bursting full of visions,
so please......stay tuned!
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