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My Personal Philosophy on Art...


My philosophy on art hasn't changed much over the years. Be honest. Put more of myself than I'm comfortable with and try to create the perfect work of art – I'm not interested in creating flawless artwork because I'm flawed, so my work will be flawed too. By perfect, I strive to create art that no single element stands apart from the others. I want my lines to be of the same caliber as my color. My brushwork should not stand apart from the subject matter. I want my painting's darks to be as strong as its lights. I want a balance of thick and thin paint from my scumbles to my impastos. By doing so, I create contrasts harmoniously. Instead of hearing, "I like the way this is drawn," or "What draws me to this work is the imagery." I want to hear someone say, "I just like it."

Artists get inspiration from many sources. One of mine is from a History of Rock-n-Roll class I took while in college. The teacher was talking about an old Elvis Presley song about throwing out some pots and pans. The teacher was having us listen to the underlying emotion just below Elvis' voice surface. The teacher told us to listen for the rising tension though the voice was very controlled. I related this to that then, and it's stuck with me ever since. If one looks at my paintings, objects may have a strong outline, but inside those controlled lines, my brush strokes are fairly loose.

I choose subject matters I'm emotionally vested in ninety-nine percent of the time. And when I do, I take a step back and approach the subject from an analytical standpoint.

I'm a sucker for detail but not photo-realistic detail, although I used to marvel at those paintings as a teen at the J.B. Speed Museum. I've always liked the phrase "God is in the details," meaning whatever one does should be done thoroughly well. Perhaps, my go-to quote regarding my art since my early twenties is by French Impressionist Edgar Degas: "Nothing in art must seem to be an accident, not even movement." 

Though my path is set on my life's artistic journey, I like all types of art genres and styles (as an example, my Spotify spans nearly all musical spectrums). I love and am fascinated with abstract art or edgier works that make may make me uncomfortable – I can't do them. However, when someone puts their heart into creating something from their own hands that are not hateful, I can always find something to like about it – anyone who puts themselves out there in this manner deserves respect for that alone.

I gain so much of my inspiration from my students' work. As a teacher, I have the rare opportunity to see art through a new set of eyes with every class. No matter one's age, everyone has a unique perspective. My job as an instructor is to help students to channel their vision and ideas through art. Visual art is not a one-and-done. Art is a way to view and experience life. I am not just looking at something but seeing it. Art is about being able to strip something to its base form and then build it back to one's interpretation. It makes great wall decor as well

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