When asked why I do not have a constant style or why I do not stick to an identifiable subject I reply; When I was 15 I was offered a chance to visit Paris with my art teacher from my freshman year in high school. She had kept my drawings and paintings for the year, turned them into the Oregon State University art department, and I was chosen to spend 2 months visiting museums and attending classes. The cost was minimal with the scholarship but when they came and informed my parents, my mother, an artist since she was a child, was thrilled!
|She painted this at the age of 18 using lamp black, lipstick, and child's oil paints in 1920|
My father had a very different idea. "Art is for fags! You are going to work!"
That was when I stopped doing art seriously.
I would occasionally dabble but music, travel, adventure, and women held much more of my attention.
After spending years in the military, seeing the world, and yes, visiting Paris many times and seeing the museums, I developed an acute interest in art, as a collector.
I spent a few years acting, singing, and pushing my boundaries, but never really explored my own art.
I did this sketch from the back of Notre Dam in 1977, the only one I did.
After failing at a few business ventures and being frustrated with my life I decided to finish a degree (I had taken classes all over the world from Lane Comunity College after Vietnam, to Heidelberg University to the University of Maryland in Germany through the Army).
I started classes at Lane Community College in Anthropology, took CLEP tests, challenged a few classes and passed and after a couple of terms matriculated the Universty of Oregon in Anthropology. The only class I needed was French so I took three years with the help of a tutor. I have dyslexia so it was wonderful having a good tutor and some very patient teachers.
I was chosen to work for a summer in Micronesia on the Nan Madol Project.
I was not satisfied with my drawing skills and when I returned to Oregon I decided to take a drawing class. When I went to register I was told the class was only for art students.
I was 40 years old, had a BAD attitude toward "NO" so I ask who was in charge, found the wonderful Ken O'Connell, and when he said "Sign him up" my life began to change.
My first drawing resulted in a question from my instructor Margret Prentice "Why are you studying Anthro? You should be making art!" She also said I was the angriest person she had ever met. This was no doubt due to 25 years of NOT DOING ART!
Now I work full time in my studio and am working at catching up to all the ideas and images I have rolling around in my 69-year-old head.
I spend hours exploring painting so if the work does not all fit in one mold that is just because I have been making up for all those years without my true voice.
|My very first drawing upon reentering the art world|