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Random Beauty

This is an interview for a gallery I show at, Cole Gallery in Edmonds WA.

Q: How has your previous career of working as an art director and running your own ad agency influenced your painting style?

A:  As an art director for other agencies I spent a lot of my time doing comprehensive layouts. This was pre computer so the layouts were done with magic marker. I think some of the marker stroking can be seen in my current brushwork. Also I did a lot of TV storyboards. That was a foundation for figure painting. With my own agency I did a lot of graphic design. This experience in design was a basis for design in painting.

Q: What was the deciding factor in switching from working in commercial art to becoming a full time oil painter?

A: The agency business became more difficult when potential clients started bringing their design work in house with the computer. A sign from the universe.

Q: Has your painting style changed throughout the years? If so, in what ways?

A: I have always been interested in painting figurative. The evolution has been in technique. I started with indirect glazing. The next move was to direct brushwork. I am currently working with a combination of brushwork, squeegee, rollers and palete knife. Subject matter to me is fluid. I try to talk to the viewer on a deeper level than the subject being painted so they are drawn into the painting and make up their own story. One technique I use is to set up a “dance” between resolved elements and the unresolved - the real and the abstract.

Q:  In your artist statement you say that you “infuse randomness whenever possible and at every scale. Random is beauty: There are no ugly clouds”. Can you elaborate on that? How did you come by this philosophy?

A: My realizations about randomness have been gradual. Working to put flare in my paintings I began to see that flare was orchestration of abstract shapes. And, that beauty was to me the random pattern in things rather than the objects themselves. In Jackson Pollock’s paintings he was able to create incredible beauty with no recognizable objects. I came to put together that the beauty we see is randomness and in two dimensions that equates to orchestration of abstract shapes. To illustrate that to myself I came up with the idea that there are no ugly clouds because they are completely random. When trying to solve a problem in painting dealing with how to portray something in the most beautiful way I put a picture of a cloud in my head and that helps. By thinking in terms of random orchestration with every brushstroke the small beautiful random shapes add up to a complete beautiful painting. Beautiful shapes make beautiful paintings.

Q: Similarly, who and/or what inspires your art?

A: I am inspired by wanting to share the beauty I see with others.

Q:  Are you currently working on anything that you’re really excited about?

A: Yes, I am starting a new series of pieces with Kimi - the tattooed lovely in “A New Sheriff in Town” and “ That’s How I Roll”.

Q: How do you think Cole Gallery differs from other art galleries?

A: I think the people at Cole Gallery really like art and artists and do a great job of promoting the artists and the gallery. It seem like their mission is art first money second.