First… I don’t use AI. At all.

Just to be clear, I do not use any type of AI in my creative process. All my ideas come from my own head and my own observations about the world. I do not use AI to generate ideas, nor to generate any elements of my art. I use — with my very own human hands — oils, watercolors, pen and ink, Prismacolor pencils, and an Apple Pencil with Procreate software on an iPad. I use Photoshop on my MacBook Pro to crop, clean up stray marks, and occasionally slightly color-adjust my scanned artwork.

I realize that the ship has already sailed, and my art has almost certainly already been stolen over the years and used to train AI. This makes me incredibly angry, sad, and frustrated. I would NEVER consent to allowing an AI using my hard work, without any kind of compensation — yet I was not given the opportunity to opt out (or in). And the sad reality is, that is exactly what has happened to countless untold creative people. Our art has been stolen, we were not given a choice or compensated, and the resulting AI generative technology could easily put us all out of jobs.

What is my art about?

That’s a great question.

With art, people often want to know what a particular piece is about, what it is supposed to be, what it is supposed to mean. It’s hard for me to give people the answers they want, since I usually don’t set out with a specific goal in mind when creating a piece. When I start a painting, I have just a shadow of an idea of what the finished piece might look like. I often incorporate a juxtaposition of organic objects and man-made structures. And the painting grows organically as I go.

My goal is to love every single square inch of my paintings. I want to have favorite areas that I can look at over and over again and never get tired of them. I want my art to be fun, complex, fascinating, surreal, and I want to find a new way of seeing it every time I look at it.

I can’t pretend that I ascribe some sort of deep meaning to my pieces if I don’t — but if that’s what YOU get out of it, GREAT! That’s what I want. My art is all about you. If you can relate to it, apply it to your life, find personal meaning in it, if it fascinates you and makes you want to keep looking at it, if you can point to part of it and say “that’s my favorite bit,” then you’ve just made me successful.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for looking at my art. I hope it makes you happy and that you find your own joy and meaning in my work.

My artistic interests and influences

I was trained as a painter in at Austin College. We were strongly encouraged to develop our own styles, so I did. This does not happen in all schools, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have been encouraged to find my own voice. I was very interested in the classical styles of German Expressionism and Cubism, particularly Chagall, Rothko, Marc, and Braque.

I’m fascinated by buildings and cities in juxtaposition with nature, and my style has grown to encompass that. This generally manifests itself in my work as a fantasy kind of nature. My cities and buildings are representational and stylized as well. I love the idea of nature taking back its space, engulfing man made objects. A lot of my objects are part man made, part natural… such as shiny metallic spheres emerging from plantlike tendrils.

My soapbox philosophy on Good Art and Bad Art

I was taught never to be snobby about art. Painting is art. Crafts are art. Dancing, music, doodling, writing, coming up with a great pun, taking a walk and enjoying nature… and doing any of that well or badly… all of that is art. Anything you do that feeds a creative itch inside you is art.

I do not categorize artworks into “good” or “bad.” Good and bad are highly personal and subjective terms. I get mighty irritated when I hear anyone deem a piece of art “not very good” based on whatever special knowledge they believe they possess that makes them consider themselves an expert. The only thing that kind of judgment accomplishes is hurting someone’s feelings or crushing their creative spirit. And the world is in terrible need of more creative spirit these days.

From my personal observations of what goes on in museums and galleries, half of art is the art itself, and the other half is the esoteric description that gets stuck to the gallery wall beside the piece. As I explained above, I don’t pretend that my pieces have a specific meaning that you’re supposed to glean from them, if they don’t. It seems that unless you are prepared to act pretentious and kiss a lot of behinds, success in the mainstream art world is hard to achieve.

I paint what makes me happy and what I like. I don’t pretend that my art is something that it isn’t, so you won’t find any ridiculous descriptions here. 🙂