Santa Barbara, California
Tell us about yourself. What does being an artist mean to you?
I was raised in a large family on a dairy farm, near Rock City, Illinois. After high school I served in the Marine Corps as a firefighter. When my active duty time was finished, I then studied fine arts in Chicago, Illinois. In recent, years I have lived in Santa Barbara County, California. No matter where I am, the need to create is strong and the process, though long, is always loved. To me, being an artist simply means, to make the choice of self-expression.
What is your workspace or studio like?
I have a large room at home with lots of natural light. Usually it is very nice and organized, until I begin to paint.
Please explain the method behind your creative process.
Lately, I sit and stare until I decide on the composition. Sometimes I have a plan and usually I don't. When I am inspired to create it doesn’t always mean I know what needs to be expressed. I just feel the need!
What inspires you to create? What role, if any, does identity play in your art? Please explain.
To be aware of life itself is enough inspiration for me to create. Oftentimes it's the sight, and smell, and textures of trees that really get me going. It's something about the give and take relationship between plants and humans, trees especially.
How does traveling or migrating (domestically or internationally) influence your creative process?
I have been moving around my whole life. There is no doubt that the experiences found within my travels have helped my growth and development as a young man and of course as an artist.
Is it important for your art to communicate a message? Please explain.
Each painting is different. Some have a meaning intended for the viewer and others are led by movement and feeling.
In your opinion, what is the best city in the world to see art?
The artists, vibe, culture and many others things change from place to place. From the schools, museums, galleries, and right on the street, Chicago is a hard place to beat.
With which artist and in what location, would you like to have lunch? What would you order?
Vincent Van Gogh. And a few rounds of absinthe and some fresh warm bread.
It has been said that “art and wine go hand in hand…” Please talk about your wine of choice and the three artists with whom you would like to share it.
I don’t drink alcohol anymore, except of course absinthe with Van Gogh. ha! However, I would find it amusing to be the DD (designated driver) for Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Francisco Goya.
Are you familiar with Basquiat (1996), Pollock (2000) and Frida (2002)? In the essence of these biopic films, whom would you want cast for your role? Please explain.
All are very interesting films. For me, I think the great Johnny Depp would be an interesting pick. He can play any part and shine. I have many layers and I would need someone whose ability is exceptionally diverse.