|One Saturday morning I noticed this fellow about|
twenty feet from my studio door
- 2015 Award of excellence OPA Eastern Regional
- 2011 Employ's Choice Award - Energen Art Competition
- 2010 Grand Prize - Energen Art Competition
- 2003 Best of Show, Winterhaven Artfest, FL
- 2002 Pastel Journal Top 100 (3rd place – still life category)
- 2001 Best of Show, Alabama Pastel Society, National Show
- 2001 Best of Show, Southeastern Pastel Society, Members Show
- 2000 Best of Show, Alabama Pastel Society, Members Show
- 1999 Best of Show, Eau Gallie Arts and Jazz Festival
- 1999 Best of Show, Gainesville 18th Annual Downtown Art Festival
- 1999 First Place, Painting, Mainsail, St. Petersburg FL
- 1999 First Place, Painting, Artigras, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- New Britain Museum of Art (Spring 2011)
- Berman Museum
- Mobile Museum of Art
- Huntsville Museum of Art
- Montgomery Museum of Art
Explaining who I am to a virtual world through web pages and artists statements has always been a surreal experience to me. I don’t like to do it. It makes me feel like I am selling myself to you or that I somehow consider myself important, but I also don't like not being able to find out about artists who produce works I enjoy. So, to resolve this dilemma, here is a little bit of honest reflection on why I paint.
Although I was raised in St.Louis with it's mass of people and hectic pace, I now work in an isolated studio in the south and on location when my circumstances allow it. I love works of art that feel like visual poetry and that is what I am striving for in my own work, the perfect visual poem. It’s why I keep trying to learn more and it’s why I think out loud on this blog. Painting, in so many ways, is a search. Most of the time it is a search for some kind of visual expression that I can see in my head but cannot quite be reached with my hands. Other times it’s just trying to figure out a means of correct visual communication.
Success is something only you yourself can create the ruler for. At this stage in life my ruler consists of three measurements: getting time to paint, making enough income to continue to paint and making reasonable progress on my visual goals as I paint. Getting time to paint has much more to do with other commitments than with painting so I won't mention those here and my visual goals are discussed on this blog and Instagram posts which you can look at if you are interested. The middle goal is the tough one.
In a free market economy you can work hard, market well, turn yourself into a widget factory and make a very good income. I did this very thing at the turn of the millennium with a very large series of tonal conjecture paintings that my galleries and buyers loved. It resulted in a factory mentality in my work and a repetitive motion injury to my shoulder. As a result I had to stop painting and it gave me a lot of time to think about why I was doing what I was doing.
|One of my large conjecture paintings on the easel|
The conclusion I came to, in my forced sabbatical, was that financial goals and production cannot rule the roost in an artists life. Just simply surviving is not why we become artists. So I went back to becoming a student of painting rather than a producer of what I already knew how to do. My recent paintings are the product of that process.
My physical surrounding for these creative endeavors are isolated far from the art world but I am never alone. Here's my crew.
- Elizabeth (25 years together)
- Five children
- Thirty, or so, chickens
- One very, very, very large dog to protect the chickens
- Two cats to keep down the varmints that are drawn by chickens
- Four, or so, snakes a year that are drawn to the varmints that are drawn by the chickens
- Hundreds of species of creepy crawly things that find my studio windows at night (I'm thinking of buying a new camera just so I can document these amazing creatures)
|Elwood shares with the cats but not the chickens|
While trying to reach these ideals I have received a minor amount of recognition if you are interested in that kind of information.