As an adult, I remember with a touch of amusement, the bitterness of not finding finger paints in my stocking on Christmas morning. Who could really blame Santa? But the simple joy of playing with those squishy pigments at grade school is a sensation that remains vivid for me today.
Art and design have always been interests for me, but aside from relentless doodling, focused art-making was set aside after grade nine.
A work assignment away from home was the catalyst for my return to art-making. I thought I needed a pastime, but so enjoyed a drawing course that art became much more. Sketching and drawing shifted quickly to printmaking and painting, first with watercolours, then acrylics and oils, and finally to mixed media. My background in science led to study and experimentation in each medium until I naturally gravitated to the versatility of acrylics as a base medium with mixed media elements.
The long hiatus from art didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the experience of making. No matter the subject or media that I use, I find myself drawn into a focused state, a single mindedness that I’ve only otherwise experienced in competitive sport and dance performance – and perhaps finger painting…
As an artist, I control most of the physical aspects of my works, and pour my own intentions – the emotional and conceptual content – into each piece. But in spite of my intent, the viewer has the freedom to experience each image in their own way. Whether their response is emotional, interpretive, technical, or merely inquisitive, it will always please me when someone simply stops to take a closer look at one of my paintings.
Consonance and Dissonance
Art and science are never so separated as western culture makes them seem. I consider myself both scientist and artist, a creative.
In my studio, as much time is spent developing and understanding natural phenomena, artistic media, tools, and techniques, as is spent composing, developing, finishing and installing paintings and objects, the tangible products of my creativity. All of these processes are essentially exploratory, experimental, and creative.
Life as a creative is an endless and exciting repeating cycle of theory/vision, experimentation, assessment, application, finishing, and finally, inspiration. It is important to my personal philosophy that the last stage of the cycle is inspiration. Pablo Picasso said “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” My perspective on his wisdom is that inspiration is the ultimate product of the work we do as creatives. Finishing and installing a piece provides inspiration to the artist as well as the viewers, be they other artists or not.
Of course, this means that a work of art hasn’t really fulfilled its complete potential until it is seen by a wider audience than just its maker.
I hope my works inspire their viewers. Whether they are inspired to feel an emotion, interpret a message or theme, evaluate and assimilate or innovate a technique, or create something in their own avenue of creativity, inspiration is fulfillment.