For almost 2 years I rode an amazing wave of inspiration. I can honestly say that I could not have worked any harder than I did during that time because I didn’t know exactly how long it would last. I’ll lovingly call the body of work produced in that period my “Posing Poultry Paintings”.
It was an abrupt realization which initially caused a deep sense of sadness. After finishing, Greater Adjutant on Barcelona Chair, I just didn’t want to paint birds anymore. I knew that if I did, it would only be out of obligation to the series. Feeling that two years of living with a solid foundation and absolute direction was coming to an end was stressful. I felt lost.
But no need to fret any further, word on the street is that this is a natural occurrence. This particular ride may be over but now I see that there is an entire park filled with other rides.
During this time:
I had my first solo show
graduated with a BFA
sold some work
made lots of mistakes
made lots of friends
got a peek at the business side of art
struggled with finding balance between art and “life”
was constantly humbled
found the want to improve my drawing skills
had the absolute joy of having the director of Phoenix Art Museum come to a show because he wanted to
learned the importance of art not only to me but within a community
Through all of these amazingly wonderful experiences I realized two very important things. First, even at 33 years of age, I am an infant in the art world. I don’t know shit about shit. And that is alright.
WARNING: IT’S ABOUT TO GET MUSHY, I APOLOGIZE.
Secondly, I discovered my love of drawing. I am driven to improve and experiment with the medium. When dissecting why I had the want to explore drawing, my goal was to bridge the gap between my drawings and paintings. I thought that was its purpose. But as I am writing this, I realize that it’s not the style or technique that is to merge…it’s the subject matter. The birds are the bridge.
It is time for my paintings to mean something else. For some odd reason I have chosen birds, or they have chosen me, to use as a vehicle for improving my skills. The feeling of loss is lightened knowing that my “bird phase” is not over; it is just shifting from oils to pencils and charcoal.
I am by no means saying that I am now a master painter; I just need to paint for a different reason. I guess the need to paint is more important than improving technically.
With all of this in mind, I've begun my next project: Learning to Draw in Fives. I'll keep you posted!