Is This Heaven? It's My Artist's Life!

Evening Repast, 2017 (June) 50" x 30" 

I have a hard time believing it’s been a year since I started painting in my basement studio. Starting with drawings, feeling my way around my crazy brain figuring out what I wanted to do. Really, it was actually doodles on paper, as that is what I’ve always filled my time with at meetings and such over the years.

It was kind of like riding a bicycle, reconnecting with what I had done daily in my youth and early adulthood until life took me into the publishing industry.

I was excited and scared at the same time. I reached out to some of my artist friends who I’ve kept in touch with for years. By September of 2016, I had found my way.  I produced about 50 drawings as I was slowly starting to put paint to canvas.

Fantacy #1, Acrylic and ink on paper. My first drawing back in 2016. I had to go back to school and take spelling lessons after this title. 

I began with oils which became a burden for me. In art school I worked exclusively in oil, however my mindset had changed, possibly because of the speed of doing design on a computer, a change to acrylics was imperative. Waiting for the paint to dry was killing me as I like to work continually on the same piece.

I experimented with sewn canvases, which I used to do, but again this was also painstakingly slow. I never claimed to be a fast tailor, I was sewing by hand.  

Colo Colo Gallery, New Bedford, MA. Cool isn't it. A bit of Photoshop can do wonders.

 Finally I settled on some small canvases using acrylics and began developing my doodles. They started out as just free-flow drawings that were fanciful, colorful and very surreal. Then they just started coming one-after-another. To date, including my experiments, I’ve done over 40 paintings this year. Combined with my drawings I’ve produced close to 100 images.  

 Folks started to see what I was doing through my website and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.) I was getting some nice feedback from artists and non-artists alike.

 My artist friend, Ron Fortier, met with me in December as we had our own critique session which was so beneficial. That meeting gave me the confidence to create more depth and detail in my work and pushed me to create larger pieces.  At the same time I was feeling a bit isolated in my basement studio and started to look for a part-time job. I needed to get out and be with people. I was fortunate to find work as a Designer with Dedham Health & Athletic Complex.

Looking through the window of the new Switch Gallery on Fairmont Street in Hyde Park, MA. Due to open, mid-July.

How great is that, being creative 7-days a week. Designing which I’ve done for years, and reconnecting with my love for painting. Thankfully my wife Debbie has been on-board as I’m devoting much time to my craft. We have to find time for ourselves, which we are doing, and after 35 years I know I couldn’t do this without her love and support.

 Things have fallen into place better than expected. A one-person show at Colo Colo Gallery was a big deal for me in February/March, plus future one-person shows at Soethby’s (First Thursdays Gallery, Jamaica Plain in October), The Wall Gallery (Norwood - Group Show in August- One-Person 2018), Wotiz Gallery (Milton in 2018) and another at Colo Colo sometime in 2018.  I’ve been fortunate to also get my work accepted into some regional art shows and have recently joined the Hyde Park Artists’ Co-op where my work will be continually shown in the The Switch Gallery. You can even find my work online at the SiOTT Gallery out of London.  Recently I had the honor of being written about in the The Patriot Ledger newspaper. With some artist friends we have created the TECM Artist’s Collaborative where we meet every other month in an artist’s studio to discuss our art and lives.

 Today I find my work showing much more depth, detail and color. My stories have made viewers think a great deal and sometimes laugh out loud. You do art because you must, there is a calling. I’ve been creating since I can remember.

 So is this heaven? Yes, it MUST be.

May you all be blessed with a little bit of heaven in your lives.