Fitting the profile of an artist, my life has had it’s share of rocky roads. I almost avoid enjoying the finer things in fear of having to experience yet another traumatic saga. Due to responsibilities I have taken on, I have been forced to work many different occupations which had a serious effect on my health but, I have always held closely my obsession for art. Every thing I was involved in creating was spawned from my hunger for art. Through the rough times my sanity had always been reigned by my inner voice forcing me to create or paint to push me past each new challenge.Looking back I’ve developed a fond appreciation for this gift realizing it has always been all that I had to save me from myself. So now as I am approaching my so called “Golden Years” I am also gaining momentum with my painting and I’m determined (with what time I have left) to devote to art what art has so graciously given to me.
Today with no regret, I am not pressured to produce in order to survive. I paint with passion because it’s my vocation. Success in a man’s calling hasn’t one damn thing to do about money. I’m unconcerned about styles or trends or the “industrialized version of the art world” because my painting will not be dictated. I’m independent and unpredictable. I paint when ever, how ever, and with what ever I please.
” Today, I look back thinking about the Artist I thought I’d like to become and realize, that it’s who I have been all along.” – Maurice
Due to my experimental nature and having the privilege to experience working in all mediums, it is my conviction that the subject or appeal of a painting is initiated by how it is best expressed. Contrary to the cliché that an Artist must continue with a favored medium to master his/her ability, I refuse to limit my creative capabilities. Not every subject merits a painting in oils as well as some subjects are best expressed in simplicity with a pencil sketch. When I foresee a painting I allow that vision to determine the medium. For me it is the vision that requires discipline to convey, not the medium in which it is expressed.
My strongest interest is in using only proven archive quality materials. When I have a surge of creativity, I work several pieces at a time rotating from one to the other to satisfy my impatience to get each piece done. So I could be painting two or three oils and while waiting between layers, I’ll move to a watercolor , pastel or graphite drawing, etc..
Do I paint from photos? Yes, why not? I generally only take reference from my own shots or from photos from a time long before mine unless, I’m provided a really special portrait that intrigues me. I’m sure that the old masters who’s work we all love and admire would have done the same if the technology was available. Do I paint or draw plein air? When the mood strikes me. I also draw and paint from my imagination or from memory.
Do I create or restore computer images? You bet! Again art expression is far from a restrained or partial experience. Fellow artists if you have a problem with that, get over it. This is the 21st century. We should be exploding with creativity with any available medium. My only hindrance is my health which pulls me away for weeks to months at a time.
I have often heard that every artist is suppose to have a mentor or favorite Artist that has inspired them. I’m sorry I can’t associate with that stereotype. Although, I have appreciation for many era’s and styles from Cave painting to Graffiti ( yes graffiti is a recognized art style) , I can not allow associating my work with any one style. My favorites list is extensive and continues to grow. I could say that some of my most favorites are from the Romanism & Expressionism eras only because they encourage the viewer to relate to idealistic or “life” scenarios.
The one style I will not be connected with and will never link any fellow artist with is the term “Primitive” art. Take the formal training aspect and throw it out the widow. I’ve seen individuals with a masters in art that could not paint to save themselves and some who have never touched a brush do exceptional paintings as well as the other way around. I know children out that have or had the ability to to draw as well as if not better than most adults. It’s all about seeing & maintaining an analytical point of view, to some extent developing a perfectionist philosophy and most of all spiritual self-awareness. No I am not a trophy entitled Liberal but I am in strong belief there is nothing “primitive” about any art and I consider the term intellectually discriminative and insulting for any artist. Might I also reveal an open minded point of view to say that, art appreciation is not about categorizing or classifications. It’s about understanding the artist objective.
Subjects of interest are as wide spread for me as my medium and style. I accept every project as a challenge because, I’m afraid if it did not challenge or intrigue me I might loose interest. I’m sure every experienced artist out there can relate.
I am a “Self Taught Artist”. My vocation started at a very young age were everything in school had to be expressed as art. All of my papers or reports always had to be turned in with illustrations. I was painting my parents home and refinishing furniture at the age of twelve. And no, it was not slop shop painting I’m talking about. However, parental criticism in regard to providing an income from my talent produced speculation on my part regardless of my enthusiastic audience. Pegged as a dreamer (idealist) in my early years while evading the influence of an Army Master Sergeant/Auto Chem. Lab Supervisor for a father left me with nothing in regards to art influence but to believe in myself. Fortunately with the cultivating efforts of my mother, he began to understand and acknowledge my gift before he passed away.
However in support of his direction, in my school years there were many Art Major Grads out there whom I’ve bumped into working at one burger flippin’ joint or another who proved to me that the investment in formal art education (at least in the US) just wasn’t worth it. I’m not knocking the piece of paper. I’m just saying that, at that time if there is anything out there that I wanted to know how to create the right way, I could find out how to do it. And I did, saving my hard earned money to use elsewhere. Besides once an individual has been taught how to find the vast amounts of information that is available in the world, a person’s character, intellectual curiosity, and self determination takes the wheel from that time on.
Selling mostly by referral in the Philadelphia Metro area I’ve supplemented my income by working other painting related jobs such as sign painting and historical architectural painting restoration etc. I have received generous payment for my work and received awards. However, I’ve avoided most competitions and shows due to the time it takes from my lifestyle. Yes, I’m a man that finds more value in spending a day with one of my beautiful grandchildren that 3 minutes mingling in a show.
In regards to my work history, I stand exposed not much different than any other artist. As for your appreciation I maintain a “take it or leave it” attitude. Am I a well known or an emerging artist? Frankly, I don’t give a damn. If the art world has not yet found me, that’s on them. They will when their time is right. My expression is a public record of my personal creative existence. My loyalty is to my clients and to creation itself and well let’s just say “my work can speak for it’s self “.