"Take a deep breath," I thought. "You can say it. You can do it, and avoid following bandwagons. They are not what you are after. Reach for the cutting edge, but focus on people, on relationships, as you speak about all we witness—our fears, shames, joys, and suspicions. Follow social and emotional commentary, but not too directly. Avoid the pitfall of too political a stance. Generalize messages, make their meaning universal, and modify personal specifics, so that the overview triggers a wealth of possibilities and interpretations. Leave the photojournalist to capture the historical moment. Save one-dimensional appeal for magazine cover girls, fashion models, and moneymakers. Transcend the times as you live them. And do not fear your audience is too small. Your goal is not to humor the passive tastes of the casual masses. Your motive is clear. This is what they will remember. Remember, too, that where the art world is cold, rejection is guaranteed, but just for the moment."
So the evolutionary cell in my thought process was planted and defined at an early age. The creative direction was influenced first by the deep ties to the classic rock music stars of the age, who demonstrated seriousness of presence and passion. Soon, the visual impulse looked to the modern artists who focused on art for “people’s” sake, rather than an art for “art’s” sake. Scale, color, technique, and energy became the ingredients used to carry out a credo hungry for the narrative, the thematic, and the real within the real. Sometimes the real is twisted, turned inside out or upside down, but is never dismissed. The human condition is the core, and I have never pained a fully non-objective abstract work. Colors may vary in intensity and application, ranging in value or schemes. Broad passages of open color, applied much like a primer, are the first backdrop, the beginning, a foundation on which images emerge, off which the scene unfolds. Paint is applied with immediacy, slashed about with thick brush and knife. Then, too, thinned paint is applied through more fluid arrangements, or is allowed to drip spontaneously, creating rainbow or rain-washed effects. As colors move, merge and overlap, the finished product is often influenced by chance, but the artist’s hand, wielding and manipulating, is never out of it.
Be true to your experiences, true to yourself, and don’t flinch. Paint it like you meant it.
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