I really started out as just folk artist. I do have formal training as an artist, but I love the emotional and fun connections that I make with people through my art. That’s what is important to me, more than being accurate with my painting. For a long time I didn’t paint purely for me, I consider people viewing it, their reactions, and even how it would look in someone home. Now I’m painting for me. I always think, “this will never sell, so I better be happy with it hanging on my wall for a long time.”
One of the great challenges I have always had is that I love so many different styles of art. So, I’ve done some primitive style, some modernist, some cubist, some simplified, some graphic, some paint marker, some digital and some realistic. My work has always moved between styles. Changing one thing into another, evolving, applying one idea to another thing. But now I paint almost exclusively abstracts with cold wax and oil.
My most recent works have been about evolution, distortion, decay and rebuilding into something else. My last series was created entirely on my iPad. I do love the feeling of real paint, but having this amount of control, and to be able to work on these pieces in any spare time I have has been great. In the past I mostly used the iPad as the sketchbook for working out the ideas before executing them, but this new series… well, it’s just working on the iPad. Conceptually, I painted family and friends. With the people in our lives, our mental image of them is not as everyone else sees them. We add years of memories, problems, pain, joy, history and so much more. And all of this distorts, and clouds our vision. I painted these people with love, and scraping off the layers, adding my own issues, painting the problems, paint and joy, and in the end you may not even be able to see the person in the image, but what I see is a kind of patinated beauty.
I have always loved abstract art, but not all abstract art. When I find something I like, I just can’t get enough of it. If I consider, evolution… I’ve been layering and distressing my art for a while. Or the radical shift…I’ve been painting portraits and my new works have little to no focal image. After a year of only doing iPad work, the joy and frustration of oil paint, wax, drying times, and all the mess that goes with it. In all my years of painting I have never been this happy during the creation process. I’ve always wanted to get through the process to get to the end result. I’ve always had an idea of what I was going to create before I started. That is no longer the case.