IT WAS A GENUINE PLEASURE PAINTING for this show; Fact and Fiction. My artwork for the show may appear to have no common theme, however this is not the case. The majority of my work centers around people and are figurative or representational in nature. It is my hope that these pieces read more as narratives and less as static portraits. As a painter who strives to be a naturalist, I have attempted to capture moments in time, common and dramatic events that we may experience in life. And with this, perhaps the viewer will feel comfortable attach-ing memories of their own while enjoying the paintings. Undeniably these paintings have a personal connection to me and these people are very real. Though some im-ages are fictitious in set-up, it is my hope that they still connect to the viewer in common experience, in spiritual narrative, or simply in human to human interconnection.For me realism is not directly depicting a scene absolutely ly true to nature. As the artist I choose to discriminate elements such as color, lighting, composition, and slight details that differ from reality. I do this to make a more effective and hopefully more poetic image. For this show, influences such as John Sargent, Ilya Repin, Joaquin So- rolla, Ivan Kramskoy, and Nicolai Fechin inspired me to experiment with a more painterly approach. These paint-ing have been a labor of love and I hope you enjoy them, as much as I have enjoyed painting them!
I would like to thank Marion Nelson and the Kenai Fine Arts Center for allowing me to show my work. I would also like to thank my wife and muse, Amy. Without her support I would not have been able to finish a painting. Moreover, I want to acknowledge my sons for motivating me by regularly asking,” are you done yet?”. I am honored and privileged to be sharing this show with Chris Jenness. As both painters and print-makers, Chris is someone I share a lot in common. Aside from our art mediums, Chris and I are former Texans, devout moviegoers, and we are both artists that balance fatherhood with our artistic endeavors. Thanks for joining me.
AS AN ART TEACHER one of my challenges is getting students excited about a particular assignment due at a particular time. “It’s art! It’s supposed to be free expression!” I get it, but after many years as both a fine artist and a graphic designer, one of the things I’ve learned is that a deadline is a great motivating factor and that creativity under pressure often breeds the best results. As such, I’ve felt very motivated and creative in these last few days before the show.
Despite scrambling to try and wrap everything up by the show date, I’ve really appreciated the nearly two-year lead time James and I have had to prepare the work you see tonight. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to show my work quite often since Zirrus Vandevere got me involved in my first exhibition nearly twenty years ago, but rarely have I had the time to create a really coherent group of pieces. My influences for this show are the cover artists of science fiction novels from the ‘50s through the ‘80s – often unsung, hard-working commercial illustrators contracted by publishing houses to create amazing vistas, dramatic and imaginative, in the service of stories that they themselves had often never read. I love science fiction in general, but more even than the stories themselves, I love the potential contained in the illustrations, titles and cover paintings. What I’ve attempted in these works is to suggest a larger story, but one that only exists in the viewers’ imagination.
I’d like to thank my kids for all their encouragement as I struggled with a style of art I’d never before attempted. I’d especially like to thank my wife Carla who’s had years of practice dealing with an angsty artist and yet is always up for more. Thank you to everyone at the Peninsula Art Guild for having us, and to James Adcox for inspiring me. He’s an amazingly talented artist and sharing space with him would be intimidating were he not so incredibly generous as well. It’s an honor to display my work alongside his. And last but not least, thanks to everyone who has come out to support us. I hope you all get as much out of experiencing the show as we did creating it.