When did you first realize you were an artist?
I’m not sure I’ve ever said, “Hey, I’m an artist right at this moment.” Since I can remember, I’ve always drawn and expressed myself through color and line. At age 3, I watched my oldest brother who was 13 at the time draw Spiderman. That’s one of my first memories, as is drawing with crayons all over my bedroom walls. Art is the only constant thing in my life. I was born an artist. It’s the only thing I’m good at and really interested in.
Could you tell us about your work?
My paintings started out in college as flat realistic works with no brushstrokes visible. The paintings have naturally evolved into abstract/nonobjective works over a course of 20 years or so. Currently, I am interested in creating a world that the viewer can be immersed in and escape into. Color, music, and nature (landscape) influence my art the most. Not that I’m trying to copy a place but rather the inner emotion/feeling I have being influenced by those 3 elements. I am creating a place – a world that is mine. I have to be concerned with the painting visually working. Contrast, drama, intense colors, emotion – all these and formal elements must be present in each work in the series.
What artists have influenced your work?
Abstract Expressionism and Neo-Expressionism are my two favorite movements. Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, and Joan Mitchell are my 3 favorite painters. Color, more than any artist in history, is what influences my paintings the most. I’m obsessed with color and notice it everywhere in everything I see. I’m in love with seeing colors!
What is your creative inspiration?
I don’t believe in waiting around for inspiration. Routine and being in the studio should be enough for any painter. Painting is like breathing and I don’t have to be inspired to breathe. I love the fact that if I always work hard my paintings will get better and better with time. It’s a slow beautiful process to be a painter.
What other interests do you have besides creating art?
Teaching art, traveling with my family, mountain biking, hiking, trying new things, being open, and just living life.
What advice would you give to a new artist?
3 things – create as much as possible, show as much as possible, and look at art as much as possible. Consume it all. The famous Brancusi quote sums it up better – “Create like a god, command like a king, and work like a slave.”
Could you give some advice about the business side of being an artist?
Being an artist is so much more than just creating art. I wished I would have received a business or marketing degree to go with my two art degrees. I learned the business side over time and it was a difficult process for sure. Give equal attention to creating art and the business/marketing side of art. It is a crazy tough profession for sure but if you have drive and persistence, something no college or university can teach you, then you will do well in the end.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Recently, my 5 year goal was to be represented by a gallery in Charlotte, Atlanta, and DC. This summer I got picked up by a gallery in Charlotte and now Atlanta. Last week, Zenith Gallery in DC expressed interest in my art. 10 years from now, I hope to be in a gallery in NYC or Chicago. Also, to have great quality work and increased sales.
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