Create From The Heart, Love The Process, Live Happy!

My physical surrounding for these creative endeavors are isolated far from the art world but I am never alone. Here's my crew:

-Elizabeth (28 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
-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)

Awards

2015 Award of excellence OPA Eastern Regional
2011 Employees 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)
2001 Best of Show, Alabama Pastel Society
2001 Best of Show, Southeastern Pastel Society
2000 Best of Show, Alabama Pastel Socitety

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. 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 making reasonable progress on my visual goals as I paint. I regularly discuss these goals on my Twitch Live Streams, my blog and Instagram. 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. 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. That is why you will now find so much variety in my work. My recent paintings are the result. Create from the heart, love the process, live happy!

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