I began this blog today as a means to help me clarify what and why I do what I do, and to shed some light to whomever may be interested on my work, my techniques and methods, and my reasoning.
This journey began when I was quite young with my exciting interest in nature. I spent my youth wondering the creek valleys, fields, and forests of southern Indiana. Always amazed by the textures, colors, wildlife, sounds and scents of all that was around me. In time this interest inspired my earliest sketches, and by the time I was eight years old I was studying with an artist in Nashville in a class of four "gifted" art students. This class in a loft of the old Masonic Lodge building cemented my commitment to be an artist. That is all I have ever wanted to be. Later at Columbus Indiana high school I had a remarkable mentor in my art classes, and had a rather illustrious time there winning many awards regionally and nationally in the Scholastic Art Competitions.
There was a period after high school, during the "hippy" era, I lived the life of a bohemian in Brown County with a group of friends, some local, some that had come to Brown County, who like me were searching for themselves and a lifestyle close to nature. We were very idealistic. After ten years or so, most went on to the chase their dreams in other places: film makers, photographers, painters, doctors, business people.
I went to the university, first to Indiana University, then to the University of New Mexico, then back to Indiana University. I was exposed to many fine teachers in these institutions, especially in printmaking and graphic design. But not so much in painting; I was looking for someone to teach technique, and never really found that in college. It was all theory, and I had my own agenda. I couldn't relate to the politics of art school and the bullshit of the ass-kissing, no talent MFA mill.
So, I took another path. I hate cities so I chose to stay in the country and close to my inspiration, painting what I know: the forest, the farms, rural americana, Working on my own terms. It has been a hard road at times, totally independent, not affiliated with the academic world. No one really "reps" me outside of a couple of local galleries. My own fault for not going to the city more and seeking out galleries.
Here's the thing: I love my lifestyle. Splitting wood in the winter, gardening in the summer, walking in the forest, observing the wildlife, A home in the woods. My wife is a kind hard working country girl at heart.
Perhaps to my own detriment, I love art, but hate the "art world" as it is. People with money and art dealers that think they define what is "good" in art. Painted sticks piled in the gallery corner; I don't think so.
I live on the fringe of that world. I've been in many prestigious shows and have won lots of awards; the work speaks for itself. But I'm not taken seriously by the "art establishment" because I don't schmooze.