An interview with the artist
What medium do you use and why?
.I mostly use acrylics because they are easily built up in thin layers. This way it is more adaptable to change and improvisation. I do sometimes paint in oil when the painting is less layered and requires wet blending.
Where do you get your inspiration for subject matter from?
My subject matter is generally an intuitive reflection of my own dream world. I usually start with a nebulous composition and then "see" the painting in more and more focused layers. The subjects tend to have a mythic metaphysical theme, but that is not intellectually planned.
When did you start painting, and who inspired you to become an artist?
Like most artists I started painting at a very young age. I just had an aptitude for it and people encouraged my talent. I read art history books and tried to copy what I liked in them. As I got older I was more interested in painting my own imaginary visions and less interested in representing objective reality. I was inspired by old artists like Bosch and nineteenth century illustrators who transported me into a dream world.
You were born in 1950, how do you think coming to adulthood in the 60's influenced your work?
I always found the 1950s rather a dull gray place. I don't have much nostalgia for those years as many people do. When the cultural revolution of the 60s hit It was like a psychic release. There was color and a sense of real creative magic in the air. My friends and I were always trying new creative projects, and exploring different art media.
Have the places you've lived played any part in your art?
After growing up in the suburban sprawl of Southern California. I moved around to several places and found it refreshing and inspiring. Living in the Mt. Shasta area for a few years was especially important as it was a hub of spiritual seekers and a beautiful natural setting. I moved to several other places over the years. I spent the bulk of time in the Marin county area above San Francisco. It was a energetic cauldron of creative minds. We had quite a rich community of visionary artists then.
Is there a spiritual practice you follow?
While I have studied many traditional practices over the years I have come to the conclusion that the universe is a lot bigger and more mysterious than humans describe in their beliefs. We are a part of the process of the universal mind becoming aware. I am at peace with the reality that it's all beyond our capacity to understand.
You have always been a very private person, why is that?
I have always been an introvert by nature. I have at times bonded with very extroverted people. I find them a good catalyst to making social connections that I avoid if left to my own devices. There have been times when I fell into the trap of becoming a true hermit. It's not the healthiest lifestyle.
How do you feel when you get letters from people telling you how your art has effected them?
I find it very humbling and moving when people tell me that my art has been an important inspiration in some chapter of their life. To me the art is a personal exploration, but I guess that's where we meet some universal themes that we share in the dream world.
How has physical aging changed your process?
As I get older there are some things that stay the same. I feel much the same emotions as when I was in my twenties, but with a sense of perspective that makes me enjoy all the small daily aspects of life. My body has slowed, and painting little detailed images seems less interesting to me. I'm looking forward to doing more impressionistic paintings and exploring other painting techniques.
Is there something that you's still like to accomplish with your career?
My main goal now is to enjoy my senior time, and have fun. A sense of play is always the best strategy to discover fresh new visions.
Is there something you'd like your fans to know about you as an artist or man?
Only that I am thankful for all the warm support kind interest in my work. Creating my version of art has been a great way to spend my life.