When I was five my dad took me to the MFA in Boston. I remember walking up the steps, walking into a hall with an arched ceiling, and knowing exactly what I was born to do.
That desire never wavered. It strengthened. Everything that was not becoming a painter was unimportant, even though I couldn't quite articulate it. School completely bored me. I was one of those students who never lived up to my potential, or the potential predefined for me.
During high school I developed the goal to travel to Europe and find someone who could teach me to paint. Parents were not at all thrilled with that idea.
So I chose to go to Pratt, because it had a great reputation. But when I got there not only did no teacher have the least clue about how to paint, I was mocked for wanting to learn to paint. It was supposed to be some epic internal journey that had zero methodologies associated.
I did manage to teach myself to draw, though all the paintings in my head remained there because every attempt at painting them ended in an ignorance-based failure. Yet I knew from museums and galleries that there were methods and approaches which worked.
I just didn't know them. By the time the first atelier I ever heard of, Water Street Atelier, popped up I was working as an Art Director, commuting into NYC and supporting my family while living on a little farm in CT. No way to attend Water Street even if I could get in, because Jacob was keeping it small and select.
But the emergence of a new, radical realism, which popped up like an ingrown hair on the butt of the modern art world inspired me to start teaching myself to construct my own methods.
I met with immediate success, which in the long run was not what I needed because I didn't know what I didn't know. I've got a better idea of that now, but at the time there were some potholes in the speedway I had made for myself.
It wasn't until I deliberately set out to fill in the missing bits that I felt I had accomplished my goal to develop a painting approach that is independent of subject, is based on an understanding of how to articulate colors and forms beautifully, accurate drawing, and is fast and vibrant, and produces consistent results.
That is what I am presenting in each workshop. Every step is recorded so you can see what I'm doing. You will have to try it for yourself.
I've gone from producing one painting every month or two, feeling like I was slogging back from Moscow with Napoleon, to loving what I'm doing while producing 4-6 paintings per month. And it's all fun, challenging and satisfying.
I am always learning, and this method expands along with my vision, I'm sure. But at this moment this is how I'm painting.
Interested in knowing how many tubes of paint are required to mix every color possible?
Hint: It's definitely not the three primaries!