How long have you been an artist? Tell us about your art career.
I was raised a carpenter. I guess you could say I’ve been a carpenter my whole life. I’ve always worked with wood. Actually, I go back a long way with various types of craft. I would define most of my craft work as functional works. I’ve made wooden boxes, hair combs, hair sticks and mirrors since the mid-eighties, so I guess I’ve been working with wood about 35 years.
I enjoy choosing various types of wood to work with. The first batch of wood I ever bought was from a friend in Arkansas who had a wood shop. I bought walnut, cherry, and ash from him. Those are the woods I first chose to work with. Later I began to work with mesquite. I had a friend in Arizona who got mesquite in Mexico and I was fortunate to get mesquite left over from his art projects. I made a lot of boxes and other things from that mesquite, which was really a beautiful wood.
Then, about 10 or 12 years ago I decided I needed to learn to do something besides woodcraft, so I started painting. My wife is a painter and my mentor. She’s taught me a lot. Over time, I’ve become more familiar with various types of paints and brushes. I prefer acrylic paint. I like that acrylic paint dries quickly and it’s easy to cover errors and start over. I love bright colors, and I have a lot of colors to choose from. At one time,while working as an athletic coach, I would notice the way kids stood, their posture and stances. Their various poses were the basis of some of my first paintings, whether it’s a ballerina pose or a gymnastic pose or whatever I observed. I would use those poses as a start and then abstract them. I still use poses and forms to start some of my paintings.
I also really enjoy welding. Some of my favorite pieces of art are my metal sculptures. Personally, I believe they’re my most creative work. I’ve always had an interest in the solar system, which inspired me to produce several sculptures that have an earth and solar system theme. I’ve also produced several sculptures of ballerina poses and various yoga poses. Those poses have always been an inspiration and sparks my creativity. I’m also inspired by nature. I’m surrounded by nature, animals, and plants. The flowers that come from my wife’s garden inspire some of my work.
So, working with wood, painting, and producing metal sculpture is what I enjoy. And that pretty much summarizes my long career in art.
With your long career in art, what three artists, living or dead, would you pick to have at a dinner party?
It’s pretty easy for me to decide which artists I would choose to invite to dinner. They’re all local artists. One of the first artists I ever met in Wimberley was Ronnie Weeks. We had a lot in common. He was an all-star athlete, so we became friends and have always had a lot to talk about. I’ve watched him and admired his assemblage work over the years and I’ve been fascinated by his talent and his creativity. I love the variety in his work. Another artist I would pick is Roger McBee. He’s a photographer and digital artist. I’ve always been interested in his technique. I don’t really understand what he does or how he does it, but I like how clear and interesting his art is. And the third artist I would have to dinner would, of course, be my wife. I’ve always appreciated her work. I’ve always been interested in her abstract work and just how she comes up with all those ideas.