Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Some answers to some important questions

Over the years my students have been curious about" how I became an artist" and other questions. Here are some answers :

I was in 4th grade when I knew I wanted to be an artist. Mrs. Donohue, My 4th grade teacher let be draw through a  math class once. I also assisted an experienced teacher in a summer program when I was in High School. I didn't know at the time she was the Art Supervisor for Anne Arundel Co. Schools. 

 I prefer to paint landscapes. in oil and pastel. I enjoy being outside , in the woods or along rivers. I feel close to nature and find spiritual sustenance there. I try to capture the effects of light in the early morning and evenings, the “golden hour.” But mostly I am attracted to colors and how they change when they travel in and out of shadow.

 I have had many mentors, living and dead. Artists are constantly learning from other artists. Andrew Wyeth and Vincent Van Gogh were very early inspirations. Later, in adulthood, I fell in love with American Impressionism and the painters of the early 20th cen. Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows, and the paintings of Fairfield Porter and the Canadian Tom Thompson. Those guys still paint better and fresher than many artists working today.  Living mentors were my teachers, Frank Kelly, Duane Sabiston, John Sauers, Eugene Leake, Robert Stark, and many others . My wife has always supported me emotionally in producing art. She has always encouraged my art making. 

When I met gallery owner Martha Corscaden in New  York, who wanted to show my work, I was really inspired to produce. I have had annual shows since 2009.

I always liked teaching. In Boy Scouts I used  to give "lectures" on stuff. I then became an Arts and Crafts camp counselor in high school through college. I  learned a lot on my own.  I found teaching something was the best way to learn something. I always enjoyed sharing what I had learned. I studied art teaching in college and got a job right out of school based on all my experience with kids in my summer programs. I”ve been teaching high school art since 1974.

  Advice? Paint what gives you joy. Paintings are more than just the objects you draw. In my case they are about light, or color.  And Don't be afraid to take risks.There are no mistakes in art, only adjustments and discovery.  When you face your fear you find your art