Simplicity is sometimes so complex.
When I first began this artist’s statement I thought it would be pretty straightforward:
My objective is to create and sell artwork that people will enjoy hanging in their home, office, yacht or airplane that will provide an ambiance of beauty and sophistication. The owners could enjoy this artwork while relaxing after a long days work or while entertaining friends over a bottle of fine wine.
But now after musing with it for a while, I realize that it does go a bit deeper. I pride myself in taking risks in my life and with my painting, so I’ll risk sounding pretentious by summarily stating that I very much hope that my art is inspired from a higher consciousness and that I am the vessel by which it manifests itself.
There, that wasn’t too pompous I hope. I honestly believe there is a higher power that each and every one of us has the capability to tap into – if we just choose to do so . . .
This place, the “Otherside” is where I get my inspiration, methods, and guidance. I regularly embark on periods of deep, extended solitude and stillness that enable a clear and focused state of mind. I feel as though I may contaminate it by trying to fit words to the experience, so I’ll just say that when I’m working at my best – this is where the most beautiful music and art flow from.
When I begin a piece I have either of two approaches.
I have the finished version already placed firmly in my mind.
I begin with a blank canvas and proceed intuitively.
When I think I have the finished version in my mind, the artwork almost always takes on a life of its own. At first, I wrestle with it and try to mold it into my original vision. But then I remember that I usually end up with an amazing finished painting when I am open to “suggestions”. I then take a deep breath, step aside and try to see the piece with a different perspective. I almost always find that the collaboration between myself and the forces beyond my control prove to be the best combination. As when I concoct a new dish in the kitchen, the collaboration between my wife and I always yields a tastier meal.
I am fascinated with spontaneity and the way two or more colors intertwine while gently blending together. The forces of nature and gravity slowly entangle themselves together in an unrepeatable web of beauty. In this mix, the elements, though combined, retain their individual identities. This seems like it could be the very essence of nature itself unraveling before my eyes and being preserved forever as the paint dries and is sealed forever in this harmonic relationship.
Often I will introduce “accidents” that will trigger ideas on how to continue. This is often dangerous and scary – especially if the painting is going well and I don’t want to “ruin it”. What I have learned is that the times where I feel I have “ruined it” the painting just begins going in a different direction than originally intended (which is usually more fun anyway)!
I have found through my classical violin training that simplicity does not come easily to a student who is filled to the brim with rules, customs, principles, theories, formulas, and the “You can’t do that!” manner of thought. When I focused my creativity on art rather than music, I began with a clean slate.
If I could compare music to art I would begin with pondering that if Beethoven were alive today he most certainly would utilize all of the amazing technical tools that are now available, rather than limiting himself to composing for orchestra alone. I am convinced of this. My belief is that had all of the materials such as acrylics, epoxy, plaster, polyurethane, digital photography, computer-generated graphics, electric saws, drills and compressors been available to Da Vinci or Van Gogh I think their art would have been remarkably different. Yet, so many artists are still emulating their work …
I am consumed with the possibilities of finding unique approaches to making art! There are so many new ways of applying paint, textures I feel that I am now just scratching the surface. There is a wellspring of untapped applications . . . if only my body could keep up with my mind!!!
“I want to do it like it’s never been done before”.Marlon Brando
I’ll conclude with a word of free thought and innovation. When I was a kid I would watch the “How to Paint” shows on TV and wonder to myself why in the hell anyone would want to apply these tricks and techniques if everyone else who was watching the same program were using them too!?
I reckon we have witnessed pure genius a million times over with brush, paint, and canvas alone. These are ultra modern times with dramatically new tools and advanced capabilities. I challenge myself to make full use of everything I can – particularly my imagination.