The most important quality I respect in an artist is honesty – to be true to who you are and to not be afraid to show it to an audience.
I am often asked about the meaning of my paintings, or what a particular painting represents. I typically respond by asking the person what they think it means, and what they see in the painting. My hope is that they will respond with the simple answer, “I don’t know, but maybe I see a part of you.”
It is this hope that is the basis of my belief that every artist feels the need to communicate something about themselves – something that can’t be communicated through words, sentences, or rational statements. They feel the need to share the essence of their inner being; what makes that artist who they are. Consequently, when I look at my paintings, I hope to see myself, and all my fears, anxieties, love, and joy.
The most important quality I respect in an artist is honesty – to be true to who you are and to not be afraid to show it to an audience. An artist should have the ability to look at their work as though they are looking at themselves, naked for the world to see, and know that they are, in fact, looking into their own soul. In art, the more you try to change or hide from the aspects you don’t like about yourself, the less authentic the art becomes. Although it is tempting to become someone else, to pretend to be one of your idols, or to strive to imitate a mentor, when that’s done, the artist’s work loses depth, significance, and authenticity.
I often paint without waiting for inspiration or ideas. One brush stroke after another, with no sense of control, not knowing where I am going, or if I will know when I reach my final destination. As I give more of myself to the canvas, my work will end up being covered by many layers of paint, changing colors, shapes, and textures, as I work through my creative process. Sometimes it is difficult to stop, the story could go on forever. Like a metaphor for life, our real stories lie in the many unseen layers, and in the long journey that built the finished piece for the world to see.