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When did you first realize you were an artist?
I didn’t have my first art class until I was a sophomore in college. I always liked to doodle and draw and I needed to get my grade point average up because I was going to be a hot shot marine biologist. So I heard to earn an easy “A” I could take a Drawing class. I ended up loving it and switched gears towards Art.
Could you tell us about your work?
Intellectually, my work is based on 11th century Byzantine iconography in terms of how I’m dealing with the space and for formal issues of the painting. Probably the most important aspects of my paintings is that if children respond well to my work then I know I’m on the right track. I believe that when I get to jury children’s shows, the kids who create work without any formal training have the most magical pieces of art. So with that, I want my paintings to feel like they just happened and that a child could have ultimately created them.
What artists have influenced your work?
There aren’t many artists that I can say have a direct influence on my work. That is to say that I see their work and I say I would like to make something similar. With that said the artists who have the biggest influence on me William Wiley, Elizabeth Murray, Pat Steer, and Morris Woods from the fifties. My work doesn’t look like any of those artists but I think I respond to their work on very spiritual levels.
What is your creative inspiration?
I don’t know. I work hard and I like to play with the paint. I think that I don’t wait for inspiration but as one painting leads to another I’m a connect the dots painter. So my explorations are more minimal. Occasionally travel but from painting to painting the growth is small but over a year’s time there are some bigger leaps there.
What other interests do you have besides creating art?
I’ve been an avid Scuba diver since 1965, and also sail. I shoot trap/skeet, swim, camp etc…. I admit to giving up the golf clubs ten years ago (I really loved it but was really really BAD!).
What advice would you give to a new artist?
Is it too late to change your occupation? (laughing) But really, it is hard work and you need to be dedicated to your work. As Lois Bourgeois said ” There’s no virtue in wanting to be an artist but there’s a lot of virtue in being one.” You have to be committed to it and it’s a lifestyle not a 9 to 5 thing.
Could you give some advice about the business side of being an artist?
Buy low sell high.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
I plan to continue teaching and painting. My daughters are from China, and are currently 10 and 12 years old, so I’m in to the whole daddy thing.
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