Over time I seem to have gravitated to producing small, almost miniature sized oil paintings and large pencil drawings. Which is somewhat the opposite of what most artists do. With regard to style I’m a realist. I enjoy finding the unusual in nature including unique angles and points of view as well as strange, almost shocking forms that take on a life and personality of their own.
Another subject I find interesting is the traditional Still Life, but using non-traditional objects that we seldom truly ‘see’. I have a visual fascination for how light can change the color and presentation of an object. Color can be a hugely rewarding and infinite direction to explore. There are natural, prescribed balances within the gamut of color. It is a never ending journey. It is especially enjoyable to include the striking abstract shapes made by shadows from extreme angles of the setting sun.
Viewers are invited to ‘observe’ that which they would ordinarily pass without notice.
BFA Massachusetts College of Art 1978
I’ve worked as both a painter and illustrator, having produced illustrations for book publishers, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, and more. I’ve also exhibited my paintings and drawings in galleries, institutes, and museums.
In the 1990’s I had a strong interest in painting nature with a special interest in birds. I produced work for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Manomet Bird Observatory. I also exhibited with such establishments as the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and the American Birding Association Conference. Also during that time I was commissioned by a Washington DC organization, The National Alliance for Animal Legislation. to produce a work which was given to Dr. Jane Goodall as an award for her conservation work involving Chimpanzees. The next year I produced a painting for the same organization which was given to the author Alice Walker for her sympathetic writing about a horse named Blue.
Today I find working in only one genre to be far too stifling and I have an interest in many subjects.
I tend to work mostly in oils, pencil, pen & ink, and acrylics.
What initially drew you to your medium/media of choice?
I’ve always enjoyed pencil because of its ‘immediacy’. Pencils can be picked up and used without any preparation, no mixing colors or using mediums, etc. Sometimes they don’t even have to be sharpened. They can be used for a simple sketch or a complicated, highly finished drawing. Oils would be my favorite painting medium. It is very diverse and forgiving when we make a mistake.
What aspect of your art do you hope really comes across to your audience?
I enjoy looking at many things from a different or perhaps unusual perspective. I also greatly enjoy objects that are lit up by strong angles from the sun or a light source, the shadows can be extreme and I enjoy the abstract shapes they create. Or occasionally I’ll find something that is striking, or truly creepy and eye catching, and they’re worth drawing then as well. I like working on many subjects, not just one genre. I would also greatly enjoy helping viewers to pause and reflect on what they’re looking at.
Who inspires you in your life, whether it be artistically or otherwise?
Inspiration can come from anyplace, really. Often, other artist’s work and ideas can inspire me. However, as many of the fellow artists here might understand, many of us have had to work another job at times to help make ends meet. I’ve worked as a pottery painter, graphic production artist, and as a temporary waiter at local events. But perhaps the grandest moment was when I received a call from the ‘Temporary Waiter’s’ office wherein the dispatcher asked if instead of donning the usual Tuxedo if I’d be interested in wearing a ‘House Costume’ at a Real Estate Sales convention. That’s right--an actual, small house. Ah…how could I say no? So, a few hours later I arrived at a local Boston hotel, found the people I had to talk to, put on the ‘house’, which covered from the top of my head to my waist, and entered a room full of realtors as their mascot “Selly”. I was asked to wander around the room giving the ‘Queen’s Wave’ with white gloves like Minnie Mouse. Thankfully, the costume had a small fan in its attic to keep me cool. Now, I ask you all, does it get any better than this? They never told me back in my Art School days life would be that majestic, that amazing! Talk about an experience in which to gather inspiration! Yes sir!
What keeps you going as an artist? Where do you find that creative drive?
My greatest inspiration has been the natural world. Nature is a great vessel of inspiration as well as an energizer. Being a part of and participant in popular culture, I’ve also been inspired by other artists in many genres.
Tell us about your primary goal for the future. Has this goal changed over time?
Frankly, I just hope to survive the oncoming environmental crises. But besides learning to swim or row a boat, I simply aspire to create a body of work that will have summed up my ideas and abilities. I also plan to continue to produce work that gives the viewer something to think about and perhaps question.