Art for me is a way of life. I breathe it in along with the linseed oil and turps enjoying squeezing a tube of oils from a company that I had never heard of observing its viscosity as it oozes out wondering how it will blend with my other pigments. Art for me is a never-ending path to discovery: uncovering unfamiliar products, revealing what the inner muse, yes we have a muse, wants to show me, and exposing my limitations -- moving goal posts -- that shift away as I gain in dexterity, patience, and skill.
Patience is a rare commodity for one who admires Franz Hals, Robert Henri, and George Bellows. Admiring their approach to portraits and figures-in-action, I want only to imitate what they have accomplished. But to be an artist in my own right, I have to seek out on my own, hence the term independently trained.
But now I am swimming against the tide attempting to rechannel my impulsiveness into a wet on dry approach. I cheat using cobalt dryer. It is not really a cheat though but necessary to help me slow down my output and refine technique.
When outside looking upon a beautiful scene of a brook with a distant mountain I am an alla prima painter having no more than a two and a half hour window to complete my work. And I enjoy the process of scoping the scene framed through my hands, placing points and lines upon the canvas showing where the scene should be arranged, and then laying out the initial colors. As I near completion, I forget to premix paints just daubing the brush in this pigment or that color already laid out upon my palette. The entire endeavor is an ecstatic dance across the canvas.
In my studio, a different process happens. Sometimes I will paint all at once, alla prima. Other times the painting emerges slowly and changes with time. In some of my endeavors, I paint carefully wet on dry exploring the possibility of glazing and scumbling. When branching out into a new territory, I cautiously paint wet on dry struggling to gain proficiency with the unfamiliar subject matter. But then the struggle eases as I internalize important lessons in navigating its challenges.