“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented, Sign-posts on the way to what may be, Sign-posts toward greater Knowledge.”
I consider myself to be one of the lucky human beings that has found a way of recalling these moments or visions where I see beyond the usual and feel this intoxicating grace, wisdom, and joy. I do this through the art of painting. To me Art is not an outside and/or extra thing. It is a natural outcome of a state of being; the state of being is the important thing. For example I believe one can be a carpenter, a plumber, a toolmaker, or perform in many other occupations and can be a great artist at the same time. To be a good artist, I think one must have full play of one’s faculties and those who do, understand the relative value of things. Freedom can only be obtained through understanding of basic order and basic order is underlying all life. Those who have lived and grown at least to some degree in the spirit of freedom are our creative artists. They have a wonderful time. They keep the world going. They must leave their trace in some way, paint, stone, machinery, music, whatever. Also, the importance of what they do is often times underestimated at the time they are doing it.
Art, I believe, is the inevitable consequence of growth, and is the manifestation of the principles of its origin. The work of art is a “result”. It is the output of a progress in development, and stands as a record, and marks a degree of development. It is not an end in itself, but the work indicates the course taken and the progress made. It promises more. For an artist to be interesting he must be interesting to himself. He must be capable of feeling intense passion, and capable of profound contemplation. I believe he who has contemplated has met himself, and has a better chance of being in a state to see into the realities beyond the surface of his subject. Nature reveals to him; and seeing and feeling intensely, the artist attempts to capture his impression of the subject. In my case I attempt to do this with paint and a brush on canvas, and whether I will it or not, each brush stroke is an exact record of the state I was in at the exact moment the stroke was made, and there it is, to be seen and read by those who can read such signs, and to be read later by me, with some surprise, as a revelation to myself. The object of painting is not to make a picture-however unreasonable this may sound.
Although it seems that all fundamental principles of nature are orderly, it appears humanity needs a fine, sure freedom to express these principles. When they are expressed freely, we find grace, wisdom, and joy, and that is the object of trying to do a painting. The painting, if one results, is a by-product and may be useful, valuable, or interesting as a sign of what has passed. The object which is behind every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a state of high functioning, a more than ordinary moment of existence. Believing that, I don’t see myself as a story teller, historian, or reporter. I feel more closely related to the poet or musician. I try to deal with moods, together with other visual and emotional stimuli. Drawing and painting skills are important and must be present in the painting, but it is the ability to communicate the emotion, spirit, or essence of the subject to the viewer that is essential. In order to accomplish this, my subjects are selfishly chosen. I paint subjects that inspire me in ways to interpret color, movement, texture, and mood. Poetry is the goal.