Why Am I An Artist?
Well, that’s the $64 million dollar question! And not an easy question to answer.
I’m an artist because ART is the thing I fear the most. You heard me right… Art doesn’t come easily for me. In my youth, I abandoned the notion of being an artist while I was a student in college. I just didn’t think I had the talent to succeed. And if you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t succeed. And by not applying myself to art, sure enough, I didn’t. Instead, I plowed ahead with determination to succeed as a writer/producer in Hollywood and saw that dream come true. But that experience taught me not to fear challenges. Hollywood was fraught with challenges. If I could overcome those obstacles, I could overcome my fear of art, too.
Still, with every painting I undertake, there are moments when I look over my shoulder to make sure the Art Police aren’t coming to arrest me:
“That’s a lousy painting. Get into the squad car!”
“You call yourself an artist???? That painting is a crime against humanity. The judge oughta sentence you, lock you up, and throw away the keys.”
“I got kids that could puke on a canvas and create better pictures than that.”
Those are my nightmares every night….
Every painting presents its own unique challenges. Sometimes it all comes together, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’ve come to learn that it’s a process – a journey – and if it succeeds, fine; if it fails – well, life will not come to a halt. The Art Police haven’t caught up with me quite yet.
What Separates Me From Other Artists?
I go to great lengths to create work that is unlike work created by my peers, especially those in San Diego county. While I enjoy and appreciate their work, I have no desire to paint in the same style and reproduce the same subject matter. I will never paint a landscape of San Diego. Or La Jolla. There are plenty of other artists doing that and I have no desire to do the same. I want to march to the beat of my own drum and you can be sure I’ll be banging it loudly.
In my career in Hollywood, I achieved success when I opened my heart and allowed the world to see the humor inside. It’s now the same gift I bring to my paintings: my humor.
I want to look at life differently from my fellow artists and bring my gift of humor to the canvas. I want to capture expressions that convey emotions, not just a pleasant smile or a solemn portrait. I want my paintings to reflect the complicated lives we lead in the 21st century. I want future generations to look at my paintings and say, “Gee, that’s what life must have been like way back in 2012.”
I spent 30 years in Hollywood creating my comedy with words, via scripts. Now I’m trying to convey my comedy without words. Now I use a paintbrush to create a punch line.
Look at “Anger Management.” Don’t we all try to bottle our emotions? But I wanted to see if I could truly put those emotions in a bottle. Or look at The Last Thing the Spider Ever Saw. When was the last time you ever witnessed something from the spiders’ point of view? I wanted “The Burger Queen” to reach out of her painting and grab that marvelous burger. I see it as my job as to take a light hearted look at these strange and interesting moments in life.
I realize my work is not meant to please all. I know my funny expressions grate on some people’s nerves. Some people only want abstract expressionism. Okay, fine. But if only 1% of the population take a liking to my work, I could still fill an Olympic stadium with fans and supporters. I can live with that!
So I look forward to more paintings in the future. I want to continue to push the envelope. Create that painting that will live beyond me and entertain generations to come.
But mostly, I hope you enjoy the journey, too! I want my art to bring a smile to your face and a little joy into your life.