Born in Canton, Ohio, I started drawing competitively at an early age. My cousin and I would compete to see who best-replicated cartoon characters and famous personalities. At seven, my second-grade teacher gifted me a set of oils and taught me how to stretch a canvas. That first painting, a mare, and her foul could not be found the day after school was out for the summer. Though disappointed, my positive thought was, it must have been good. No more paint-by-number sets.
During my senior year of high school, I departed from rendering photo-like images. Being "creative" took precedence. Fast forward to UC Santa Barbara and my introduction to cubism and multiple mediums, I felt my art was valid. Abstract expressionism was emerging.
Art imitates life and as an artist, I like to engage viewers to see my representation of life, be it a simple still-life, a figurative piece, or a socio-political statement, in the creative way that I do and not as if looking through a camera lens.
Picasso once stated every child is an artist, the problem is remaining so as an adult. Child-like inhibition is the epitome of creativity. When I decided to abandon drawing with the intent of creating photo-perfect images, it was with trepidation. However, my introduction to cubism let me know that I could continue creating in a more abstract manner. I like to let the process dictate the result of my inspiration. One gesture predicates the next. Mistakes, if you will, are a challenge to make work as part of the creative process.
"In The Crosshairs" exemplifies that process. My initial intent was to recreate a mask motif previously painted on a wooden cheese box. The creative process juxtaposed the figure and crossing planes indicative of a gun scope.
2020 was a time when being "in the crosshairs" got global attention and the BLM movement ensued. Art imitates life.