About the Artist

 

Painting

ART BIOGRAPHY

Thirty-eight years ago, when visiting Nashville, Indiana, I stepped into an artist’s studio and immediately had what I jokingly called “a reincarnation experience,” because I had no other way to talk about the profound effect that the sights and smells of that studio had on me.  Despite no previous experience or demonstrable talent, I had the sudden and overwhelming desire to be an artist.  Given my life commitments, I knew that there was no way that that would happen, but a few days later I stopped at my neighborhood library and found a book about how to make simple line drawings.  After drawing cups and saucers, knives, spoons, and tennis shoes at my dining room table for several weeks, I gathered courage and enrolled in a Beginning Drawing class at the nearby Indianapolis Art League. For three or four years I continued in classes, adding Life Drawing, Silkscreen Printing, and Lithography one-by-one.  I loved them all.

I have never satisfactorily explained to myself why I allowed art to slip out of my life, but I did just that when the structures of my life changed dramatically and, for more than thirty years, the only art that I did was to occasionally sketch a few boats or trees while on vacation.

That changed in 2004, when at the age of 68 I retired from forty-three years of ministry in the United Methodist Church.  At that time my staff presented me with a gift of oil paints and brushes.  I tried them initially in my garage and soon realized that I needed a teacher.  My initial Indiana teachers were Ronald Mack and Tom Slack.  I have also attended a workshop or two with local or national artists each of the last four years. (Several of those workshop leaders are listed on my Links page.)

I will never know what would have happened if I had maintained my commitment to art over the past thirty-five years.  Painting is more challenging than I imagined and I seem to learn less quickly now, but I consider it a privilege to be able, in some small way, to live, belatedly, the life of an artist.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

I paint landscapes, primarily, in both pastel and oil.  I prefer to paint ordinary scenes, rather than seeking exotic ones.  While I paint mostly in Indiana, over the past five years I have had opportunity to paint or draw in Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and France.

When painting out-of-doors I typically work in oil with a limited palette.  When painting with pastels, I usually do so from pencil or ink sketches made in the field or from sketches made from photographs I have taken.   Working from sketches encourages freedom of interpretation in the final work.  I do not aim to copy nature, but to respond to it.

Generally, my oil paintings, which feature earth tones and close color harmonies, are more subdued than those done with pastels.  My pastel paintings tend to be looser, more colorful and more playful than my oils.  Together my paintings represent two sides of my personality and I enjoy both.

SHOWS AND AWARDS

I began to enter competitive shows in 2006 and have had work accepted in the following professional exhibits:

  • Indiana Heritage Arts Annual Exhibition in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012
  • Hoosier Salon Annual Exhibition in 2007 and 2008
  • SALI National Show 2006
  • Indiana State Fair Professional Exhibit in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Brown County Art Guild Senior Show in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010
  • Brown County Art Guild Patrons’ Show, 2010
  • Sycamore Land Trust “Art for All Seasons Exhibit” in 2008
  • Indianapolis Art Center Annual Shows in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008
  • Solo Exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center in 2009
  • Morris-Butler House and Museum, Indianapolis 2010
  • Hoosier Salon, New Harmony, IN 2010
  • Brown County Art Alliance at the Waldron Art Center in Bloomington, IN, 2011
  • The Soft Side of Painting – 3 person pastel show at Waldron Art Center, 2011
  • Indiana Heritage Arts, Nashville, IN 2012

 

In those shows I received the following awards:

  • Best Traditional Landscape at the 2007 Hoosier Salon
  • Best of Show at the 2007 Brown County Art Guild Senior Show, Second Place at the 2008 show and Best of Show at the 2010 exhibit.
  • First Place at the Brown County Art Guild Patrons Show, 2010
  • First Place in Drawing at the 2011 Indiana State Fair, Second Place in Drawing at the 2010 Indiana State Fair and Honorable Mentions at the 2006, 2008 and 2009 Indiana State Fair.
  • Honorable mention at the 2008 Great American Paint-Out” held at the T.C. Steele Historical Site, in Brown County, Indiana and Honorable Mention at the 2009 “Festival of Flowers” at the T.C. Steele State Historical Site.
  • Merit awards at the 2006 and 2007 Annual Exhibits of the Indianapolis Art Center and “Best of Show in All Adult Media” and “The Richard Landrigan Award for Painting” at the 2008 show.