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Program Type: Art Exhibit

Artist Statement:

When I that I do artwork and they ask, “What kind of art do you do?” I find myself unprepared to give a spontaneous, definitive answer. Some artists are very focused and know exactly what, how, and why they do what they do, but not me. In a vague response, I will answer that I mostly paint landscapes, in acrylic or watercolor. If they pursue the subject, I further describe that my acrylic paintings are mostly airbrush work on medium to large canvas, depicting colorful skies, long horizon lines, or calm water with reflections. These are my pretty paintings, but my watercolor paintings are more condensed.  They are slices of landscape that depict a more details interpretation of a larger scene. Sometimes the subject matter may be of subtle humor or an ambiguous portion of a broader vision. My technique of painting in watercolor, I explain, is nothing unusual, “basic methods.” I am too much of a novice at this medium to be ostentatious.  So I plan each painting in detail? I can’t. I make too many mistakes, and I have found that watercolor can be unforgiving, thus I have to be flexible enough to change the original concept. I am astonished sometimes how different the final painting is from what I visualized in the beginning. Watercolor’s restrictiveness to correction is part of its challenge, its frustration, and its pleasure. At this point, I hope the conversation is diverted and no one questions me, why? Why do you choose as you do? Well, herein lies my confusion.  Perhaps it is a lack of insight that I cannot be explicit about why I choose to paint an image of a boat or a lake. Or then paint a ragged billboard that is realistically rendered yet is abstract without the peripheral information, to be followed by a painting of people on a beach with huge colorful umbrellas and sea gulls that leave a white mantle on whatever they roost. I have a thousand ideas I want to put forth on paper, or canvas, or photograph. But why I choose to express myself the way I do with the limited time I have in my studio is my puzzle. A puzzle, perhaps, that is what I am working on.  Each drawing, painting, print, or photograph I create is a piece of a puzzle scattered on the table, and, hopefully, I’ll live long enough to see all those pieces fit into a grand image, an image explaining just who the heck I am. Or, better yet, an image in which someone else will know who I am. Because it could be what a creative person truly wants is for someone he has never met to say, “Oh yes, I know that guy.”