WHY DO I PAINT?

As a young person growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, my exposure to fine art was limited to books, television, and the (rare) school field trip to a museum. But I’ve always been attracted by light, color, and design. When I close my eyes, I can picture Esso and Mobil gas stations go by, and neon-adorned urban buildings, all seen from the back seat of the car. And I still remember my brothers and I being captivated by eye-catching ads in magazines—then tearing them out to hang in our room.  

It was seeing paintings reproduced in grade school library books that initially lead me to the road I travel to this day, more than fifty years later. Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World, and Edward Hopper’s Gas all stand out as works that made a powerful first impression at the time. To the surprise of no one who sees my painting, the latter artist—Hopper—made the greatest impact. 

 

Why? To me, it’s simple: I FELT something personal, deeply. Yes, Light is typically the main subject in his art. But just behind that was “The Moment.” Somehow, you had a sense that something significant had just happened…or was about to. Or that what you saw was truly extraordinary—no matter how common it appeared to be at a glance...or after careful study. 

Later in life, once I moved through a career in graphic design to begin studying painting, I became consumed with a passion to make works that felt to me as if they captured moments infused with some sort of meaning. It’s a unique form of communication that helps me make sense of life. Am I always successful? No. But I continue to reach for that self-expression, in hopes that it will connect more completely with my inspiration. And ultimately, with you, as viewer and my collaborator. I’ve been at it nearly 30 years now, and some of you have been with me from the very beginning.  

My truth is this: creatively describing place, time, feeling, concept has meaning to the “maker.” Then, when YOU bring your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and interpretations to those art forms, ART HAPPENS. Ideas and emotions come together. Perspective may broaden. New meaning can emerge. Understanding is possible. And speaking for myself, there’s nothing I’d rather do than keep the conversation going. The fact is, one never knows where it will lead next. Or with whom.