More About 2011
It all started in Howie's workshop. What began as simple participation turned into a genuine fascination with paint, which led to an intense and passionate endeavor which is still unfolding. I considered myself a photographer at the time, not a painter. Although I had done one piece in the past, a small oil of a cactus under the tutelage of my father, I spent most of my efforts trying to get the exposure right rather than sloshing paint on the canvas. Once I was hooked the tables turned over faster than the ones at the Balinese Room just before a raid. I was, as they say, "all in".
In 2011 it was just about learning how to get the paint to do what I wanted; how to get it to stick to the canvas in such a way that I preferred not to paint over what I'd just done. It took a while, and some in fact were "recycled" as I learned how things worked. Paint mixing, subject matter, finding a style, the right canvas size for the piece...these are all things that I knew nothing about. I needed to find center by trying, by getting into it and just doing it. I have had no formal training other than the initial workshop, but that was enough to make me want to experiment. i owe a great deal to Mr. Doyle, who by the way would deny that he had much to do with it. He showed me that it was ok to just go ahead and get it on there, mash it out, and then, if you don't like it, just paint over it. Just like that. Simple. But, not that simple.
After my first round of serious canvas tinting, I had a few pieces to look at and wonder about. Doubt was always there about whether or not I was doing work of any significance, and there wasn't a thought in my head about selling any of it. I would be happy if I could create some things that I wouldn't mind putting on my own wall. If I could manage to do at least that, then it wasn't all for nothing. "Poison Corn" was one of the first pieces and already I was finding a way to get a simple concept onto the canvas in a 'not-too-literal' way. I did know that what I wanted was to do pure abstracts, with a little representation every now and again.