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Artist Statement

"In my visual and musical works, I seek to paint the picture of people and their emotions, set in worlds derived from both lived and imaginary experiences."

When I was very young, I had been told that God had created man from the dust.  Confused, I would sit on the curb and draw the shape of a man in the dirt and wonder what sort of magic I would need to bring him to life?  Would he be naked and embarrassed standing in the middle of the road and would I be responsible for this person?  Would my mother and father be required to feed and house this adult stranger and would they be upset with me?  Frustrated, I couldn't understand why this figure would never come to life.  I would close my eyes tightly and reopen them, only to discover the same image scratched in the dirt, unmoved.  "Maybe God does not exist?" I would think to myself... or maybe, I am just not like God or good enough to be among him?  Growing through the various stages of my life, I have contemplated (like many others) the meaning of man and his relationship to the universe and the unknown.  I believe that the attempt to interpret this experience is the true purpose of the "artist" and through my visual and musical works, I seek to paint the picture of people and their emotions, set in worlds derived from both lived and imaginary experiences.  

As I grew older, I became increasingly frustrated with determining who (or what) I was, substituting various religious and philosophical ideas with others, from being "saved", to being lost, and from being lost to "seeing the light," only to return again into the darkness.  I climbed many mountains only to find others appear.  I struggled with mental health problems leading to poor choices with handling romantic relationships.  I would often seek temporary fulfillment in women, drugs, music, and material possessions, only to return again to the unbearable "self": the ubiquitous man in the mirror.  Having grown up in an artist family, I found it difficult to find my own style that was unique unto my own.  Seeing famous works all in big museums would only further cause depression and increase my frustrations added to the millions of other daily anxieties.  One day, in the middle of summer 2016, I was at a cabin in the northern Pennsylvania woods reading a book on the Native American way of life, and everything just appeared- the entire basis of the world in one concise, vivid image.  There was no need to sketch it or write it down, but I knew I had to return home and recreate the vision.  When I took the cellophane off the canvas, a familiar voice began telling me: "What are you doing?", "Don't be foolish..."  But I persevered, and the result was "Life At The World's Rim: Eternity."  Upon completion, I wondered how I would ever make anything better or more complete?  Should I stop?  What do I do now?

Visual Methodology:  Although I regularly make "Lifestyle Art" (Pop Art for sale or for fun), for my Primary Work I use a "seeing" method that makes use of a canvas of solid color (usually an earth tone), to which I then "search" for a subject within the surface and brushstrokes of the work.  This concept is not entirely of my own and has been recorded as practiced by a Zen priest (of whose name I don't recall).  I believe that in every surface there lies trapped a "soul" or a subject, that, with time, can be revealed and brought to the surface of the work or painting.  Or, are these subjects the product of my subconscious imagination?  It is the practice of fleshing out what is already there: similar to polishing a raw gem.  Once established, I begin to construct the scene where the person exists.  I prefer wooden boards and hand stretched canvasses over that of factory produced canvasses- for the reason being the organic nature of the former, and the static, more lifeless nature of the latter.  The results can loosely be categorized into the genre known as "Visionary Art", but with an Americana flair.  

My goal is to "just keep moving", and applying the Zen principle of "No Thought".   Meaning, start painting what you find, and do not become overly critical or oriented toward any goal in one way or another.  There are no rules, and after all, you are the Creator breathing life into your characters.  My characters come from different time periods, a testament to the infinite stream of collective consciousness and quite possibly, my own personal reincarnations.  In the end, and in the sense of Ray Eames or Picasso, I just want to make art that looks good/ "the best for the most for the least", and maintain a constant outpouring of work, regardless of being bound by any one genre, medium, or style.

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