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"Painting is the expression of ideas in their permanent form. It is the giving of evidence. It is the study of our lives, our environment. The American who is useful as an artist is one who studies his own life and records his experiences; in this way he gives evidence."
Robert Henri (American Artist and Teacher)
It became clear to me, what I was painting, when I read a book by Robert Henri, "The Art Spirit," given to me by an artist, my Aunt Beanie. I had found it difficult to put into words what I was putting on canvas until these words by Robert Henri defined it for me, "The Giving of Evidence."
Encouraged with the Arts growing up. I took a liking to art and pushed it further through formal training at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1985. Attracted to the tropical landscapes and warm water of Florida, I completed my Fine Arts Degree in Painting at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Upon graduation I moved aboard a sailboat and stayed on the water for the next 6 years. Here I kept the scenery changing from marina to marina and harbor-to-harbor which is evident in the soft colors, seascapes and beach folks in my earlier paintings. Being from Wisconsin, Tampa Bay was a major change in lifestyle. The palette changed. I painted what was around me, "Giving Evidence," with smaller watercolors painted aboard the boat. The sailboat posed a problem for larger pieces in oil when I used a friends' garage as a studio. The large space allowed for large canvases.
Recently I moved back to shore and into a permanent studio in Tampa Heights. The subject matter has gravitated to the figure. I paint the subject as if it were in my peripheral vision. (The space, just outside the eyes' focus.) Like Impressionism and Expressionism, this is the important part. The unfocussed area. The gesture and color of a subject is the majority of what the eye sees. This is what I try to capture in paint. Giving Evidence.