My artistic sensibilities were formed in the 1960’s and 70’s when Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Jackson Pollock were still popular. Meanwhile Peter Max and Andy Warhol were rising stars in the fast-evolving art world. New and creative album-cover art was also an influence and inspiration for me.
My junior high school art teacher taught me basic composition with watercolors—which I eagerly soaked up. I became a camera bug around this time and have been one ever since. High school was a time of radical artistic experimentation for me. I made crazy kinetic sculptures, dabbled in cubism, abstract, mixed media and collage.
The late 60’s saw my artistic energies give way to political protests and hippy happenings. I sojourned in San Francisco and Seal Beach. I took some epic cross-country road trips. Then, as marriage, work and family became new priorities, my art passion quietly retreated to a back burner—simmering there for nearly four decades.
My mom passed away in 2010, leaving my siblings and me a sum of money. Around that time, the Andrea Rushing Academy of Fine Art relocated to Adams Ave in my Normal Heights neighborhood. Before its opening I’d often pass by, gazing in like a kid at a candy store window, seeing easels, props, sculptures and paintings by the owner, Andrea Rushing. One day the the door was open, and Andrea was there, working at his easel. After some conversation, and seeing more of Andrea’s paintings, my original early-life artistic passion was reborn. My inheritance meant that painting lessons at the Rushing Academy were in reach. My artistic development was under way again.
After 9 intensive months of private lessons with Andrea, I felt ready to devote myself to painting. Better late than never! And, thanks again to mom, I was able to take an early retirement which allowed me to paint full time. After 4 years at the easel, I figured I knew enough to teach beginners how to get started. I taught at the Rushing Academy for a year and then, after the academy relocated, I began teaching classes in my own studio. Early in my late-in-life art career I joined the South Bayfront Artists’ Association (SBAA). Moving to Otay Mesa in 2016, I then also joined the Chula Vista Art Guild. I am pleased to have won awards from both groups in juried exhibitions. As of this writing I am president of the SBAA.
Artistic vision and statement of purpose:
I am convinced that the essential purpose of art is to uplift and refresh the human soul. The pop-culture/post-modern understanding of art’s purpose is something quite different. I’m O.K. with that. The art world is expansive and diverse enough to include many streams and schools of artistic expression. Therefore I will leave the protesting, politicizing, preaching, provocation, scolding and shock to other artists. As for me, I will keep striving to produce works that are life-affirming: images that reflect natural beauty, human dignity, grace and truth. I want to portray the wonder of God’s magnificent creation. Much of my work is devoted to portraiture. I am fascinated by faces and find them endlessly interesting. I also find deep satisfaction in doing simple still-life scenes.
I love to teach the basics of painting and especially love to introduce beginners to the joy of learning how to paint!
Don't put it off! If you are moved to buy that one painting that grabs you or are ready to take lessons, go for it! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's discuss it.