As a boy I was drawn to art by the incredible and whimsical cartooning of Walt Disney, Winsor McCay, and Otto Messmer. I later discovered the paintings of Van gogh, and that changed everything. My eyes were opened to color and an intensity I had never seen before in art. I sketched and drew for a number of years before picking up a paint brush. I was on my way to career as a commercial artist. I would paint for only a short time before I would hear a sound that would alter my life for many years. “Hocus Pocus” by the great Dutch progressive rock group, Focus, and the incredible guitarist, Jan Akkerman would send me down another path for the next 40 years as a guitarist. Art would have to wait. 40 years later, another outstanding musician and composer would inspire me to return to painting. The music of modern classical composer Maestro Arvo Pärt showed me a new vision of art and moved me deeply to pick up my brush and create works that expressed music and life through abstract and minimal expressions. May 2014, I was honored to both meet and give my painting, “Fratres” to Maestro Pärt in Washington, DC. This meeting would solidify my commitment to creating art that portrays music, emotion, and feelings as color and movement. In preparing myself for a painting, I first immerse myself in the music for days at a time to fully experience the piece, and to feel the emotions and feelings it evokes. I then sketch, (not always an option), but in some cases it helps with the initial concept. I will often times have a vision of the painting already laid out, but the painting will always dictate to me how it will go. While painting, I often find myself looking deeply into my own awareness of mortality and the temporal nature of all things. Maestro Pärt’s work drew me into a place of nakedness and sparseness that beckoned me to reevaluate myself as a musician, artist, and person. To thoughtfully consider the priorities in my life as they related to our temporal existence.
Recently, my painting style has matured, and I have found myself as a modern painter solidly planted in abstract expressionism.
“There is a certain level of despair in knowing we have a limited existence, but we create richness in our own existence and world through what we draw from it, and how we contribute back to it. Art provides me a way to give back, in a small way and hopefully opens a window to a world of art that will show beauty through art as inspired by life and modern music.”