When I create, I sometimes feel it’s a good idea to get out of the way of the subject and to set something aside and come back to it later. I do this all the time. I’ve done it my entire life. This is not procrastination, it’s incubation. It’s admitting that sometimes ideas run beyond our means to understand them or communicate them, which is where a person should want to be. So the creative fruits are always new and always ripe. This knowledge should strengthen a person rather than weaken them, if they don’t take it personally, so always be sure to keep the hunger alive. I constantly feed my own Art Machine at the front end with all sorts of art, music, literature, experience and things spiritual, and always consciously have multiple paintings in various stages of completion in progress at the back end. That’s when a painting is more likely to take over and begin painting itself. That’s when it works best.
My paintings are multi-layered and there is a lot to consider, but if you wish to read destruction into my work, go back to square one. As every other Hollywood movie tells us, with power comes responsibility, so let’s be mindful of our legacies. I like to find that sweet spot between fact and fiction, between stasis and motion, and between line and color. What I want to do is entertain, enlighten and educate, in any order, and this is how the magic happens. Yes, I said magic. Being an artist, I don’t have to explain my science.
Everybody likes cartoons.
Why oil paintings?
I love the meditation, therapy and handmade-ness the medium offers. I love the smell, I love the feel, and I love doing novel things using such ancient methods.
Why so big?
Symphony-size is easier to see, affords more color and detail, and has more impact than quartet-size. Impress from afar and intrigue from aclose, I say.
We have a bad habit of navigating our way toward the future with a scant and distorted understanding of the past. We can only correct this in the present, so it’s vital that we slow down and clear our heads, and review things in their actual or fancified contexts and, ideally, enjoy ourselves while doing so. That doesn’t answer the question –
You can safely assume that my subjects are to me something like a pantheon of heroes, geniuses, creators, crackpots and hangers-on, and I share what I know and how I feel about them to show you how they might inspire you as well.
What about the future?
I can’t see the future any more than I can change the past, but if we understand our past we can choose our future. I can promise that there will be lots of color and light.
Who or what serves as inspiration?
The list is long. Art: Thomas Hart Benton, Rick Geary, San Francisco poster art, MAD, Pekka Halonen, Ivan Bilibin, Disney, cave art, Renaissance, Ai Wei Wei, Donald Roller Wilson, Jackson Pollock, Picasso &c. Literature: James Joyce, Kerouac, Rumi, Cervantes, MariJo Moore, Anne Carson, A Dictionary of Miqiao &c. Music: Beatles, psychedelic, Scriabin, Shostakovich, the Schumanns, Mahler, World music (esp Mali), Arvo Part, Coltrane, Gorecki 3, &c. Others: Native culture, Buddhism, ML King, Aung San Suu Kyi, Joseph Fitzpatrick &c.