Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
New work is a series of mixed media paintings depicting true stories, events and experiences I have had from childhood on. These memories have been swirling around in my head & I decided to somehow find a way illustrate them. Some are funny, random as well as sad. They are more personally revealing than anything I have worked on before. A friend said I should write down these stories but I decided to paint and draw them instead. It’s been challenging because I don’t have much in the way of reference material and I am trying to show it exactly like I see it in my head.
How did you decide to become an artist?
I have always enjoyed the creative process from a very young age. When I got to my teen years, I had strong internal feelings that I could make some really good work. I’m sure people can relate. In my case I would see an image or artwork or photograph and think, “I could do that”. It was just something I felt from within. I wanted to find out if this was true so, I began to create. I was of the opinion that I had nothing to loose and everything to gain.
I probably had a heightened awareness because my mother was a painter. She was my first mentor in a sense. A wonderful example who I was very close to. She was good at many things and very talented.
I saw a documentary on the band Joy Division and one of the band members being interviewed said he saw the Sex Pistols perform in a club in Manchester and he thought to himself, “I can do that”, he did and the rest is history. I think this sort of thing must happen to people all the time.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
If you don’t every take risks, you will never know what would have happened. There is also a risk in never sticking your neck out.
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself?
I now have a website which seems to be an essential marketing tool. I sell through the Saint Paul Art Crawls, occasionally to a friend or family member. I also sell through the Edina Art Center gift shop and I recently was accepted to an online website through the Creative Center at University Settlement in New York. They are an art and healing organization whose goal is to bring art into hospitals for patients who are facing cancer. The website is for artists who are cancer survivors like myself. All the art on their website is for sale with a portion of each sale going to the organization. I am beginning to market my work more frequently but I don’t rely on this for income. I have a job in the arts which by the way, I feel very fortunate to have.
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
You’d see me at Edina Art Center working with artists, doing gallery work, programming, answering the telephone, taking registrations and teaching drawing & painting to youth. You’d see me at a few coffee shops buying coffee and looking at art. Probably shopping at Art Materials for canvas and sales at Wet Paint and working at my studio on Water St. in Saint Paul.
You would also see me visiting my son Pete in Minneapolis. He is a videographer working on his 4th Skate video. The last one was called Flow Trash. He travels quite a bit and films. We might watch some recently shot film footage together.
In addition to www.Local-Artist-Interviews.com, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?