How did you first get involved in art?
My first real experience with any form of the arts was in high school at Shawnee Mission North in Overland Park, KS. I took various ceramics, drawing, and design classes, but I didn't get started painting until my freshman year of college at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS with an introductory painting course. I remember we had just finished a still life project and the next part was to abstract that still life. I had recently dislocated my right elbow so I had to paint with my left hand. It was the beginning of me finding my style.
Concerning your award-winning piece, "The One She Likes II", you mentioned in your artist statement that you let the color dictate the painting rather than sitting down to paint with an intention. How did this become your modus operandi? Is this the way you have always painted or did it evolve into this method?
This is how I have always painted. The freedom of having the painting dictate itself and evolve is what makes it exciting for me! It always keeps it fresh and new and never finds itself repeating. I have a lot of energy and emotion that comes through me into the canvas. What comes out of me and onto the canvas is what it's supposed to be. I don't try and change that; it's me in paint form and I run with it! [It's a] very organic and intuitive [process].
Where & from whom do you draw inspiration?
My inspiration comes from all over my world; from the places to which I travel, to my friends, family, and wife. From love, from life, from news, from all the thoughts that run through my head. From my philosophy of life being lived to the fullest, from trying to grow my craft as an artist... it's all about getting better and learning from each experience and never being content with what I am creating.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on getting together my pieces to be displayed at my booth at Art Westport in Kansas City, Missouri. It's a 3-day arts festival. It has been a longtime dream of mine to be accepted and I am excited to share my work with the KC community.
How do you connect with people through your art? Why do you create art?
I connect with people through my art with the feelings that it evokes in people. It is usually feelings of happiness and allows them to become lost in color. I love seeing their reactions when they look at it and see the changes that they may go through. It can be a deeply moving moment for them or it can be just a beautiful picture to them and nothing more or less. If it touches them and makes them feel a certain way or makes them think of a happy time in their lives, then my job has been done. In the end, I just want to bring something beautiful into people's lives.
What do you enjoy doing aside from making art?
Traveling is my other passion in life! It is very much like my painting, as you never know what you're going to find on your travels. I never go to the same place twice, so that helps.