All my life I have made pictures. Sure, when making drawings as a child, who knew then that this would be my life? Like most artists, I first painted for my mother. Its in my blood now--- and I've rediscovered why I started this so long ago. And why it will be with me into the future.
Images move so quickly these days --- we are constantly bombarded-- that it may be difficult to conceive why anyone would make them by hand. There are many ways to make pictures, of course-- so why make them with a brush? Why not just photograph or video? Well, it is said that "art is a lie that reveals the truth." Nothing does this like paint.
And some people like you recognize this.
Painting doesn't attempt to compete, it is an entirely different thing altogether..... very different from the commodity we use and dispose of daily-- the fleeting images of modern life. Many people never understand this and the advent of television is of no help.
Painting is a curious enterprise-- it the redirection of energy onto a surface in sometimes-unexplained ways. It is a mediation and a meditation. A well-made painting reaches inside you when you give it time.
Just as the river does --- enchants us with undulating, constant change. Like a flame.
Only, painting had to have its time in my life--- waiting for the knowledge of 50 years. Read on.
When I first went to college, it was with the thought of becoming a doctor, so I majored in the sciences at Georgia Tech. After all the sports I did, it was inconceivable that anything in the arts was in my future. Still, I painted in my rooms after Chemistry. When I was encouraged to really give painting a "go" by NYC painter John Hardy ("What are you doing here? YOU should be PAINTING!"), I transferred to major in Painting at the University of Georgia.
When examining my prospects for a career, I learned from my mother, a Nurse Practitioner, that there IS a hybrid field--- so I minored in zoology and went to grad school in Medical Illustration. This was taught in the medical school, taking classes with the medical students for three years--- and only 1 in 12 interviewees was being accepted (there were 5 in my class at Medical College of Georgia, the best of only five schools). Medicine from a visual perspective-- three years and a thousand hours of surgical observation, countless drawings. AND they were teaching the most absolute realism of any art training available in the country.
While I thought medical illustration would support my fine art painting, it took all my energy-- took over my life. It was fascinating-- learning the newest medical developments as they evolved and working with the nation's experts. And as my family grew, it was the right thing--- the best use of all my faculties. I still do it to keep my hand in and mind sharp.
So, for the past twenty-five years, I have been engaged in teaching medicine visually--- mostly addressing specialized surgeons. Its a sort of highly-technical, visual journalism. My works have appeared in books, journals, animations, CDROMs, video--- concentrating on neurosurgery, plastic surgery and ophthalmology. I read the literature, attended the meetings. As a matter of experts, I worked for a time with Frank Netter, MD, the best-known medical illustrator of all time. Ask your doctor --- every MD knows this name! Yes, my work is in the Big Green Books from Ciba.
The professors at painting school taught that art was not a way to make a living, so I shelved it, painting only in idle hours in the interim. NOW I am letting the collectors have their say-- and realizing that I have a Gift and should use it! Finally, I am becoming whom I was intended to be. Finding the joy in painting Life.
I met my my mentors, Jack White, and his wife, Mikki Senkarik, AGAIN three years ago. You may recognize their names - he is the State Artist of Texas, and she is a rather famous painter with whom I went to school--- a medical illustration schoolmate turned painter: http://www.Senkarik.com. These wonderful friends are teaching me (and others) that there is no other life for true artists but to focus on this Gift! Each painting is a realization of a lifetime-- stored understanding and adventure showing in each work.
Now it is time to focus on The Paint, so celebrate with me this rediscovery! Bring a painting with you into your rooms-- or commission one. Let a painting fill a wall, fill a room of your home-- take one to your offices. This art grows within you.
You will be seeing a lot more of this work. I'm in it for the long term and will be painting for the next 30 years-- and more.
It will ring in your family for generations.
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