I had gone to art school to become a sign artist back in the early 80’s, and when sign painting became obsolete with vinyl, I had to recreate myself. I started a business, had it for nine years and then sold it. I find myself having to rebuild my life once more. After a few months of boredom, I signed up for an oil painting class at the local community center.
When I arrived, I noticed everyone had a story as to why they were there, and many were retired and just wanting some recreation. I guess, I was no different. I was shown what supplies to purchase, how to start a painting, what techniques to use, and so on. I really didn’t have a clue how to begin. Mostly everyone selected a landscape as there subject, but I always chose an animal or some obscure object. I never resonated with landscape paintings.
I realized quickly, that I could paint. I was in shock. I had no idea that I had any talent in art except for lettering trucks and sign painting. I went on to take the advance class which included some glazing techniques, and more one on one instruction. The classes were once a week for six weeks. I painted at home as much as I could. I couldn’t stop.
As I progressed in my newly found talent, I noticed the top of my head would pulsate. Sometimes the throbbing would be strong and disruptive. Pulsating is the best way to describe it because it felt like a heartbeat on the very top of my head, encapsulating my entire skull. This continued for about two years. Sometimes it felt stronger than other times, and usually it was more energetic while I was painting. I had a sense I was getting a download from the universe.
I was always attracted to closeups of my subject matter. Maybe it has to do with being in the sign industry and my experience with painting billboards. Landscapes were never part of the plan, I couldn’t even relate to it. Portraits are my favorite subject, but I was not satisfied with the direction I was going with it. My paintings seemed uninteresting and typical. I kept thinking I need to add another layer, something extraordinary, creating movement and a looser stroke. After two weeks of meditating on this, I came up with the tissue paper idea. One morning as I awoke, a light bulb went on… and so it began.
For two years I experimented with the technique, including burning about twelve canvases in my firepit. My earlier paintings had less dimension, and as it advanced, the paintings became sculptures adding more and more layers. Now, a typical painting can protrude about two to three inches from the canvas. I’m still perfecting my method and every painting allows me to push the envelope.
I am extremely grateful for my talent and feel connected to the angelic world since my download of inspiration and creativity. Since then, I meditate regularly and ask for guidance on how to proceed with certain art projects. I will continue to paint for many years to come and you can expect new paintings in the future inspired by the heavens.
Have you seen celebrities on TV wearing some glamorous outrageous outfit? As the viewer, we expect to see this type of dress from them. They are the celebrity and in the public eye. We want to be entertained with our visual senses. It is their obligation as a public figure to give us a dramatic wardrobe display.
In my opinion, as a public artist, we are also obligated to give the public what they are hunger for; a dramatic visual display! I understand some artists are traditional landscape artists, but that does not mean you have to serve up the same hum-drum "seen it before" landscape. Your audience wants "WOW", and that means turn it up a notch. Experiment with bolder color, looser brush strokes, or something that makes your art stand out and says "I am bold, interesting, and have a reason to be in the public eye."
With the visual overload we experience in the world today, it is easy to be over looked or completely invisible to the public eye even if they are standing right in-front of your work. So....BE BOLD!!!
Most buyers are amazed at the intricate detail of the sculpture using tissue paper. When I first began using this technique for my paintings, it was light and sparse. Then, I stepped it up a notch and began creating three dimensional paintings. Now they are truly one of a kind.
Many artists ask me how I create them wanting detailed information on what exactly I use (gel medium,tissue paper, gesso, paint). But, when an artist begins, they soon realize how difficult it is. You can not learn this in any book or video, and over the years I have developed certain ways of twisting and manipulating the tissue to get the result I want.
My sister Sharon, who is a very talented artist, came out to visit and I showed her my technique in person. She was astounded at the difficulty of producing a sculpted canvas. She had no idea what went into the pieces and understood that I was no longer just a painter, but a sculptor.
How long does it take to create the sculpture? This question is asked by many people. It depends on the intricacy of the sculpture and the size. The very small ones, like an 18"x18" can take a full day or longer, and a larger 30"x40" can take two weeks before the painting even begins.