Why did you become an artist?
Because I can’t sing, dance or play an instrument.
Over the years I’ve tried the guitar, banjo, harmonica and voice lessons. All of which ended in flames. They weren’t fun for me or for anyone who had to endure my practicing. What was I thinking?
Although, I’ve been told I’m a pretty good tenor. Ten or eleven miles away you can’t even tell I’m singing. Or a good solo. So low you can’t hear me.
On days where the painting isn’t easy, I threaten my wife that I’m going to buy a banjo and start again!
Why did painting stick for you?
It’s the immediacy. There’s an immediate feedback putting a brush to canvas. You see it come alive. That’s just fun. I think that’s probably how musicians get started. They heard something I didn’t. Maybe I saw something they didn’t.
Not all paintings come to life the same way. I’ve had some that started strong but fizzled. While others were horrible only to have them come alive in the last stages. There’s a definite tip point where it starts to talk to me. Each has their own personality.
Do you believe anyone can paint?
Can you breath? Yes, anyone can paint.
I could play guitar if I wanted to. Can I play like Tommy Emmanuel? Nope. But could I get good enough to play for friends? Sure. But that would require an investment of time. Instead it’s easier to play his music whilst I paint.
You’re talking about expectations.
Yes!! And that’s the secret. You need to know how high you want to climb. Most people go to an art show and see professional works of art and think they could never do that.
You want a little secret? I go to shows and think to myself, wow, I could never do that. Then I think, wait a minute, why not? I just have to practice more.
What’s Your Favorite Style?
I like the fact that the viewer’s mind fills in the details. Everyone will see it a little differently. When I paint in that style, I find the faster I paint the less time I have to overthink the brush strokes. It’s more feeling than anything else. It’s an expression.
Your recent paintings seem different, what’s changed?
I try to paint every day. Hemmingway used to stand at a typewriter and bang out 100 words a day. Some good. Some bad. But it’s the consistency that took shape over time. And the same can be said for my painting. I’ve found that my brush strokes are getting surer than before. Hard to explain but I recently did a painting in two settings (it only took 20 years to get here). I was like whoa – that was cool. Quite a dopamine rush (no mom, dopamine isn’t illegal).
Is the 50/50 split with charity a gimmick?
Nope. It’s the real deal. I decided that I can do good with my art. It’s been said that to give is to receive. I want to give.
Are you really letting people set their own price?
Yes, it’s nuts ain’t it? For some of my pieces I’m letting people name their own price. These will also be split 50/50 with charity. I’ve also got other works where I’ve set the price, which will also be split 50/50.
Could you get burned?
I’m sure there is a crackpot out there who’ll try and take advantage of the system. There always is. That person will have to look in the mirror and sleep at night.
What’s your color palette?
I’m still working on it. But I’m liking the warmer colors right now.
What are you working on now?
I’m just about to start a still life series. I’ve been reading about Manet’s Flowers and I’m liking their quietness. It appeals to me.