My aim is not to make money as an artist. I price paintings, because it helps to pay for the cost of this hobby, and in fairness to other artists who need to earn a living.
I play around with different subjects and media. Many of my paintings on canvas are landscapes, I am enchanted by the beauty of mountains and beaches, but also what is around us every day in the city and countryside; trees, buildings, and people going about their routines.
I paint with acrylic and oil on canvas, but I also love to draw and to play around with mobiles. In February, 2018, I had the opportunity to use pen and ink and watercolor to illustrate a picture book The Adventure of Theo and Gus Gus, with the author, Megan Hoert Hughes. It was the most fun I’ve had in years, and I plan to experiment more with watercolor, and perhaps look for other book illustration opportunities.
Painting the human body is a challenge I accepted when I began painting some of the dancers in the Carolina Ballet in 2006. I would rather have a farmer planting in the field in my painting than a beautiful bank of flowers; rather have kids throwing rocks in the lake than a sunset at the lake. My wife has sometimes been the subject of a painting–not her favorite activity. Our cats and dogs often make themselves into a painting also.
Sometimes, my art takes on a political or social justice quality.
In 2007 I painted a series on climate change; New York City under water, the Blue Ridge Parkway a desert, a hurricane of such force that it toppled brick buildings in Raleigh, a drought in Chapel Hill.
In 2013 and 2014 I painted 9 paintings of Moral Mondays protests in Raleigh, North Carolina, led by the Rev. William Barber (based on photos by my friend, Dave Otto). They toured with some of Dave’s photos and commentary by Harry Phillips to various exhibitions in seven North Carolina counties, and many of them or giclée copies are permently hung at the United Church of Chapel Hill.
In 2017 I did a series on poverty and homelessness in America. These are mostly drawings, using pen and ink, watercolor, and pastel.
In June, 2018, I began a new series of paintings inspired by the intrepid students of Margaret Stone Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. Their commitment to action to end gun violence makes me want to do whatever I can to energize the resistance to the NRA and the politicians who use NRA support to stay in office. The first painting is Never Never Again, and depicts youth invading and breaking through the old reality of the Grim Reaper dominating a scene of school shootings and posters of victims. I painted likenesses of 21 youth and children of the United Church of Chapel Hill in this painting.
I was a librarian for thirty-six years, did some writing as part of my work publicizing the library, and toyed with stories and novel outlines and drawings for fun. Looking forward to retirement, I expected to spend my time writing. It was a surprise to me that the year before I retired in 2002, I became enchanted with art. I began to talk to artists, experiment with watercolors, and when retirement came began to work with other artists. I took classes and lessons from Jane Filer, Steven Silverleaf, Lorrie Callahan, Erick Davis, and most recently, Stacye Leanza at the Arts Center in Carrboro. I still have a regular weekly session with Chad Hughes at his studio in Durham. I have been active in organizing shows for artists at the Jump’n Java Café, Students of Jane Filer, Arts Center Open Studio artists, Carrboro Public Library, the Art and Soul Studios in Mebane, and the Triangle Visual Artists at the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce and elsewhere.
My goal as an artist is to create lasting works that might grace the lives of those who own or view them, and be valued long after I am around. One of my greatest pleasures is to see a painting I sold on the walls of a happy art lover. My friend, Carole Stevens tells me that she is so proud of “Deer Reflections” that she installed special lighting to show it off. Thank you, Carole!
I work at my home in Chapel Hill. I open my house for people to come see my art during the first two weekends of November (Nov. 5,6 and 12,13), as part of the Orange County Artists Open Studio Tour. I would be happy to invite interested people at other times by appointment.