Welcome to my site and thanks for visiting. I will attempt to briefly explain myself and what you will see here. Having spent most of my adult life (I use this term loosely) in the computer graphics field, I found myself with the opportunity and desire to learn how to paint. Why, you ask, would anyone in their right mind exchange a steady (if unfulfilling) career with a regular paycheck for an endeavor that promises to be frustrating, messy and unlikely to result in any financial gain? I honestly can’t answer that question. Years ago as I was exploring a museum with my brother in law, I commented on the number of artists represented who eventually went crazy. His reply “It’s not how many people that paint who go crazy, it’s how many crazy people can paint.” I guess it’s all in how you look at it. A classic chicken or egg conundrum. I’m not sure which category I fall into but based on historical events, it probably won’t end well. Anyway, full steam ahead and torpedoes be damned, onward towards poverty and obscurity!
Who am I?
Good question … Thanks for asking.
I have been convinced by those close to me that I need to post some background information on myself. I’m not sure that this will be a beneficial exercise but it promises to be at the very least amusing. My credentials and accomplishments are to me unimpressive so instead I will gladly take this opportunity to regale you with the wonderful world of me. After all, how many times do you get the opportunity to start a conversation with EVERYBODY. Should you choose to continue please do so at your own risk. You’ve been warned.
My life so far has been unremarkable. Actually, downright boring. Now I’m getting depressed…
I’ll be ok.
Art school dropout. My parents are so proud. It always kind of irked me when people teach a right and wrong way to make art. It’s art, how can it possibly be wrong? A primal expression of emotion or thought and I did it wrong?! I don’t think so. If we all operate under the same guidelines how will anything new ever happen? What is this box I keep hearing about and who in their right mind would want to be in there? Is it crowded? I’d like to tell you that this principle was the sole reason for the end of my academic career but the reality can be more accurately attributed to my own misguided belief that I already knew everything and an unhealthy affinity for beer. Ah youth! I’d like to think that I’m wiser now but I doubt it. (and I still like beer) I had one professor who informed me that I, as a child, had already produced the best work I ever would. I assume he was referring to art produced before the introduction of rules into the process. “The green stripe goes on the bottom. The BLUE stripe goes at the top.” Hopefully he didn’t mean pre-motor skills – yikes! So, upon hearing that I had peaked as an adolescent, I stood up, raised my arms and declared “Thank you art world , I’m out!” and never looked back. It didn’t really happen that way but hey, it’s on the internet, it must be true. Actually I ended up in a communication arts program that included courses such as typography. Now this is pre-computer graphics so we’re talking about hand lettering man! Ugh! In hindsight that was good information to know but I was an artist! We don’ t need no stinkin’ kerning! So, no BFA. No MFA. No BFD.
Anyway, after wandering aimlessly for awhile (As young men who have it all figured out are apt to do) I finally got enough education to be dangerous. (And use computers)(and parentheses apparently)(or misuse them. Hey, I’m an art guy, gimme a break.). The graphics world was mine for the taking. I had the opportunity to own my own business in a mid-sized city in a tropical setting. I produced many cool projects such as annual reports, national ads and international product packaging. I directed photo shoots in exotic locations and even designed billboards. (made you look!) I was able to watch my clients grow and prosper and I’d like to think I helped. Life was good. BUT, life sometimes throws curveballs at you, or is it knuckleballs? Either way, anyone one throwing anything at you is rarely a good thing. (Unless it’s money but in all my years I’ve never actually seen that happen. Heard about it. Seriously, have you ever tried to throw money? It ain’t easy man!) I’ll fast forward through the painful parts and say that after a series of unfortunate events and dubious decisions, I now have found myself in a small resort town on the coast. Beautiful scenery and a fantastic place for a family vacation. Seriously, I can make recommendations. Not, however, the corporate business environment I am accustomed to. With mostly mom and pop type businesses the computer graphics work available is not really my cup of tea. (I’m not a big fan of tea in cups). Some slogans here include “I got my crabs from Dirty Dick’s”, “Eat and get the hell out!” and my personal favorite – ” A small drinking town with a slight fishing problem”. Sounds about right. I designed tourism brochures for the Turks and Caicos islands for crying out loud! I created trading cards for NBA players and these people want me to put lighthouses on EVERYTHING! Deep breath… I’m ok. Needless to say it is not a perfect fit for me. It’s ironic that what makes this place awesome is the very reason I’m not inclined to work in my field here. Why don’t you move you ask? That my friends, is a story for another website. The truth is I wasn’t getting much satisfaction from my job no matter where I was, so, I’ve gone old school and low tech making portable cave paintings for those burdened with excess funds and bare cave walls. The job is infinitely more rewarding but so far the pay sucks.
Q & A with J
You don’t seem to have a consistent style. Isn’t that the first thing they teach you?
Good question. Thanks for asking. Yes it is. I guess you could say I’m still experimenting and looking for something that is challenging and rewarding and doesn’t bore the hell out of me. I’m hoping that at some point my skills will catch up to my imagination.
What if that never happens?
I’m familiar with poverty and irrelevance so it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Where do you get your ideas?
Getting ideas is not my problem. Choosing which ideas are worth pursuing is.
To what do you attribute your love of making art?
Another good question. You’re on fire!
You’re welcome. I’m convinced that my ability/affinity for visual communication is some sort of cosmic compensation for my deficiencies in the more traditional and socially acceptable forms of communication, like talking. Don’t get me wrong, I get by fine but would never list social skills as one of my strengths. I have pros in the family. Trust me, I’m not one of them. I also had a rock star art teacher in high school. I’m not sure if it would be credit or blame at this point so I won’t throw her under the bus.
Are you reclusive?
I wouldn’t say I’m a recluse. Hermit maybe? It’s like if you are wealthy and a bit odd you are eccentric. If you’re not loaded you’re just a weirdo. I definitely fit into the latter category although I aspire to eccentricity. Painting is not a group activity (at least not the way I do it). I’ve heard tales of some group painting events but can’t confirm their existence. I don’t get out much.
To summarize, we have determined that I may or may not be insane but certainly can look forward to that in the not-to-distant future.
I will never be a salesman due to my underdeveloped social abilities. I can, however, manage to go out and buy a gallon of milk, or beer…yeah, beer!
I prefer a somewhat isolated lifestyle.
And I like to paint.
Sounds to me like the perfect recipe for posthumous stardom. I can’t wait!
Thanks again for stopping by!
I am currently represented by the Revealed Art Gallery in Charleston, SC. Good stuff there, you should check it out.