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The Glass Blowers

The Glass Blowers represents a turning point in my art adventure.

After painting for several years, it was time to reflect and ask myself questions….what direction did I want to go? What did I find most satisfying? Was it time to do more fast and funny caricatures? Perhaps a line of greeting cards? I wasn’t convinced.

Fast work is fine for some artists, but I get much more satisfaction creating what I call: “The Full Meal.” I prefer paintings that create a sense of time, place, and characters. If a pictures sells a thousand words, then I want my paintings to be no less than that. I want the painting to draw in the viewer and make them wonder..or identify…or be swept away to a place where they’ve never been. I want my paintings to tell the story of our times.

And then a defining moment came when I visited the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Germany. It was a wonderful museum, filled with important works of art and I nudged myself: “Okay, buddy, time to get to work. You need to do work that qualifies for being represented here.”

The Glass Blowers took me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to show an environment that was very neutral and industrial, yet to paint in grays wasn’t going to do it. A black and white photograph would do as well. So instead, I painted in complementary colors, creating neutrals, that appeared to the eye as grey. It may appear to be grey, but in person, the painting vibrates. The colors are alive and interesting.

It is also the first painting I’ve done where there is not a comic intent. But I wanted to show my glass blowers creating their art and they took it seriously. So I was true to their intent, not mine. Instead, I made the video about the making of this painting humorous. You can check out the video on my blog page.

Will Glass Blowers someday hang in a museum? Well, that’s not for me to decide, only a benchmark to strive for.