I am a self taught artist and have been creating something from nothing all of my life. The aromas of a fresh box of Crayons, Elmer’s Glue, Silly putty and Play-doe, early on, was like opening a door to a different universe, a world in which I made the rules. I was always making “stuff” as far back as I can remember. If I don’t create, I start to feel like someone is holding a pillow over my face. All this I am sure was a resourceful escape from my dysfunctional, misspent toddlerhood from which I have, mostly, happily, recovered.
Even though I create the things I want to see and touch, the biggest charge I have always gotten is seeing other people respond to what I have made. I’m tickled when someone “gets it”.
I think art should be a part of everyday life, something to stumble upon while toiling away at work. It’s the little mental lift that everyone needs throughout the day, an unexpected departure from the hum-drum. If something makes me laugh I can almost guarantee it will end up in my art. I gravitate to the “subtle quirks” in life.
Ideas can come from almost anywhere. A book I’m reading, music, someone wearing a horrible outfit, my crazy dogs, a fleeting visual of anything, anywhere. I am usually struck by a feeling from what I am seeing or hearing and want to recreate that feeling through my art. I don’t do a lot of sketches, almost never unless it is a complicated piece. I will ponder on it, mentally creating it, re-arranging, making changes, until I get this feeling of “Viola!” Then, I start to work on it with the enthusiasm of my vision spurring me on. Often it takes on a whole new life of its own and goes another direction dragging me along with it, paint, brushes and pencils flying. I just go with it. In the end, when it says to me “Is this what you meant?” I know it is finished. For several years now, gooey, brilliant, pungent oils and the wonderful, never-run-out-of-anything, non-tactile, non-toxic world of Photoshop are my favorite sand boxes in which to play.
I jump around between subject matter, I like to challenge myself and I get bored thinking about the same thing. You won’t find 17 paintings of a tree in a field with my name on it. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just not my thing. I am sure this works against me as far as the gallery scene is concerned but it is what it is. Life is short, stay excited.