' Samples of Past Work ' - Notes
My art practice began in my early thirties as computerization took away the manual element of my architectural drafting career. Missed using my hands and eyes together to make something.
I had a mentor/friend was a Franciscan Friar and a former teacher/professor. His brother was a painter. He suggested I was one as well. As he was kind and wise, I considered it. My friend commissioned a painting from his brother for me titled 'Litttle Island and Sunset'. Although it is a landscape he said it was a portrait of sorts based on my personality. This intrigued me.
My estranged, maternal uncle left a small farming town in the late 1950's for the bohemian life of a full time artist in Toronto. My grandfather supported him much of his life. I knew my uncle from stories, letters to my grandmother and a few paintings in my grandparent's house.. There was a huge painting of an impending thunderstorm about to overtake a small farm house which hung over my grandfather's chair in the living room. A great painting. When my grandfather died I received a smaller painting of a hill that one cannot see over.
My favorite anecdote of the early years as an artist is about attending a critque for an art class I attended at the University of Regina. One classmate placed some of my drawings and paintings in their final project installation. The instructor asked if they had made the work as it looked out of place. The student stated that it was a found object. I realized it had been taken from an interview room where we applied for entering the Fine Art program. Rather than speak up, I took it as a complement rather than a petty crime.
The collection here is a portion of my work outside of formal series. Many pieces through the years were thrown away, painted over, given away and even sold. Some are from a professional show in 2007 at the Art Gallery of Regina. As for how I see these years of making art, i turn to the Grateful Dead song Truckin' with the line, "What a long strange trip it has been..."
One of my favorite lines from a song is by the Counting Crows ("Mr. Jones'), " Grey is my favorite color...I want to be Bob Dylan". No truer words speak to my practice. Here is another song about greyness.