I was looking for something, some old photos my grandmother took while in Morocco, Istanbul, Japan and the numerous exotic places she traveled. Long ago I did a series of paintings from these tiny, beautiful black and white windows to a foreign past. I’ll post some of the pics one of these days. Granma had an eye, that’s all I gotta say about that. So I’m sifting through the shoe box of old memories and there’s a pile of shots from my youth, from a galaxy far, far away. Several shots of some early product from my burgeoning business as an airbrush artist; surfboards, t-shirts, vans, murals… man what a flood of memories that came from looking through those. But it got me to thinking about how I got here, where I am. Not to suggest I’ve scaled Mt. Success but rather how I ended up doing what I’m now doing and what a widely circuitous path it was to get here, or maybe I should say back here.
Not to bore you with my life story but I will say my step-mom, or as I like to call her, “Mom”, played a big role in my becoming an artist by encouraging me to take lessons when I was 11-ish. Not drawing and painting but sculpture. Oh and she forced me to go to Europe, which changed my life… thanks Mom. I guess it was because I was always drawing and painting with whatever I could find. Then came the airbrush and man that was some high tech back then. On to college for a graphic design degree (not fine art) why? because artists didn’t make money, but graphic designers did! All the while though I was painting and had started painting outdoors in the early 80’s. A lifetime in advertising (which was fun but left me very hollow at the end of the day) led to a freelance carreer as a designer then as an illustrator. And illustration led to a life of painting outdoors, which was really what I wanted to do all along. So I ended up back here. In many ways I wish I had listened to that little voice that said, just do it, don’t worry about the money. Maybe if I had started in the late 70’s and early 80’s doing that thing that really tugged at me I would be better at the one thing. But all of this circuitous routing gave me something else, a big experience in design and painting experiments. It’s been a good ride and I feel lucky as hell.