Reworking my Artist Statement
My Artist Statement is getting a little stale and needs some work. I've been adding to it and editing. I'm not quite sure if I'm done yet. I'll need it by the first of the year.
The most enjoyable part of being an artist is the pure pleasure and fulfillment of creating precious objects. My best work combines the skills and techniques which I currently enjoy the most - mainly woodworking and painting.
Each piece takes on a very personal theme. Some are tributes to people, special places, and events that I have observed and experienced with my family as a child. Others are private observations that comment about current issues and contemporary life. To some, these themes may seem mundane or insignificant, but they are of personal significance.
When creating these private tributes, it is especially exciting to learn more about the immediate area, events, people and surroundings. What imagery can be incorporated? Is there a social issue to address? Is there a pattern, shape or texture present to utilize? Who can tell me more? This host of resources is considered while plotting a piece. Several of these visual references including somewhat cryptic GPS coordinates, text references, and other interesting symbolic clues are favored to incorporate into the completed design.
For years I regarded my works as paintings, but as my career has progressed I've acknowledged that my artworks were more of a wall sculpture format rather than traditional flat paintings. The term, “Wall sculpture”, seems rather generic and doesn't adequately describe my work. Instead, I have recently termed them as “relics” since that seems to most accurately describe their format and purpose. My relics are created in a medium which is typically acrylic on wood and starts with a wooden frame like structure. Shapes, objects and textures from the location or event that inspires a piece help determine its overall construction, look, and feel. I build the frames in a traditional wood shop, and often incorporate elements that are cut and engraved with a laser. The surface of the frame is painstakingly faux painted as weathered wood, steel, stone or concrete. A center section spotlights an object or creature(s) of significance, and various written clues are added to the construction as faux painted bronze plaques, metal or wooden badges, engravings, or signage. Some works have secondary niches for additional imagery as well. The format or shape of most work takes on a medieval altarpiece influence and some even have hinged doors and resemble a cabinet. The viewer is asked to examine the individual elements of each artwork with the hope that they will be incited to draw their own conclusions as the relationships and thus the meaning of each work.
Present-day living is fast paced and fragmented. Creating art slows down its velocity and helps me to reunite scattered facets, and thus centers my life. The necessity to chronicle events and places of personal importance is paramount to my work, no matter how trivial it may seem and the challenge is to create these authentic testaments to celebrate and immortalize them fittingly.