Untitled Oil Painting 6.5" X 10"
Memory seems to work best with associations. Although the memories associated with this painting are vague, it was sort of a launching pad for my life as an artist. It was painted at my aunt Barb's house where she very kindly stretched this small canvas for me and provided me with a palette and some brushes. The painting is of a horse or some kind of animal in a corral with a water tank. There is a road along the mountains leading to a parking area near the corral and a fine looking saguaro near the parking area. I don't remember aunt Barb helping me too much other than with the signature.
At a young age I drew scenes that included subjects I was fascinated with. I remember construction crews putting in sewer lines in our neighborhood to replace septic tanks. I was fascinated with all the heavy equipment like trenchers, backhoes, graders, payloaders and earthmovers and the weathered faces of men operating them. I would draw these things in a fashion like being in the picture plane operating that equipment, often emulating the noises made by them. Oh how I wanted to drive those things. I put in many details like the barricades set up around the work sites and pipes ready to go down in freshly excavated trenches. It was play-drawing. Group play-drawing was the most fun; usually done with my cousins and my brother with aunt Barb dispensing the drawing materials. I was fortunate to land a seating arrangement in third grade with three others kids of a similar artistic bent (coincidence? I don't think so). Mrs Wilkinson doubled up two-seater desks opposing so pairs of students were facing each other; what I look back on now as a rather novel concept. The next year as you can see in the picture below, it was back to everyone facing the front of the class with Mrs. Robinson. Anyway it was Dennis Elliot to my left, Glen haring across from him and Bill Serkland (threw the pot shown below) across from me. Whenever we had free time or "art" time we would all do our thing. I can't remember how we chose the subjects but we were all drawing the same things, mostly action stuff, secretly checking out each others work while striving to make ours the coolest. It was competitive play-drawing. Dennis Elliot was the best of us. This skinny asthmatic with coke bottle bottom eyes was so talented that most of the time we were watching him in awe. He drew airplanes in perspective with foreshortening! Third grade! He was left handed of course; came natural to him. I don't know whatever happened to Dennis and Glen, but Bill was my best friend throughout most of high school. I went to college in Flagstaff and he went to a community college in Phoenix where he took on ceramics. I loved his Raku glazes. We remained good friends up until he died six years ago.
|From Watermedia Works|
Pot by Bill Serkland
Lately I've really been reflecting on my life as an artist. Somewhere in a blog I read this byline: "I am an artist, I have to create art whether I want to or not". This is exactly the way I feel and whenever or wherever in my life I have repressed that, I found myself miserable and in the midst of miserable people or maybe I just saw them that way because I was miserable. But when I create art I have what I refer to as "reciprocal purpose". The creating communicates that which is intangible and reflective of purpose, and the purpose drives me to create. Since having cancer and treatment seven years ago I made a decision that I would be more serious and in focus with this purpose. I cannot express what is deep within me any other way. So, I'm embarking on a series that will explore my life as a child artist. I'm mixing then with now; a series of self portraits.
6" X 6", ink on paper
19" X 19"
acrylic, graphite and gesso on Yupo