Yeah, hmm . . . weird you would want to know about me, but, since we’re here –
This blog is going to mainly be about my life as an artist, sometimes as a musician, often as a partner (hi Amy!) and, occasionally, my day job will creep in.
I’m consciously starting this journey as a work in progress. I was trained as an artist and illustrator, I come from a long line of artists and have always had creating as a central part of my life. That center got covered over by a lot of crap for quite a few years (decades?). Some of it was just life’s twists and turns, a lot of it was just self inflicted (I’ll probably get around to that part of the story – later). Anyway, with the help of my friends and family, the “self inflicted” part was jettisoned about nine years ago and the artist part started waking up again. I started picking up a class here and there at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I wasn’t sure I still had it, but, much to my relief, something remained.
Now, in the heroic version of this story, I’d tell you I boldly picked up my paint brush and began to make art!
The truth is that I toyed around with it for a few years. Making art that others would see was intimidating, I worried about putting myself out there. I was consumed with masterpiece-itis – making big works that took a year and a half to finish and were about as inward looking as they could get. I suppose I needed that time and that hesitation to get frustrated enough to try something different. Something different was fully committing to a drawing and painting program at SAIC. I started about a year ago. I’ve had incredible teachers (yeah, big shock there – it’s the Art Institute for chrissakes), I’ve met some wonderful artists who have become good friends and, and here’s the reason for this blog, I’ve been pushed to become an actual artist, not someone dreaming about becoming an artist.
So, I’m 56, kind of stable but kind of nuts and starting out on a path that I hope I’ll be on for the rest of my time on this Earth (and who knows, maybe heaven will just be a big studio and painting intensive). Earlier I called my present state as an artist a work in progress. While I feel like the work has gotten strong lately, I know that I haven’t yet found my authentic voice. I feel like there is still so much to experience. Every class and every studio opportunity gives me the chance to grow, learn and see what I haven’t seen yet. I pray I always stay in that place – it seems like a good place to be. I’m starting this blog because I’d like to try to document the struggles of making art with my eyes wide open and maybe you, the reader, will find something that resonates with you in your struggle to become whoever you believe you are meant to be.
I hope you like what I put up here. If you’re reading this, I hope you find something in this site to inspire, comfort, challenge or just ponder.
I’ll be a lot briefer here. I’ve played guitar for 40 years. I’m pretty good at writing songs and I’m pretty good at arranging and recording those songs. I have been associated at times with the punk and underground scene in Chicago. I stretch back to the early days of Chicago punk (O’Banion’s! Naked Raygun! Effigies! DA!) and played in bands with some of the left overs from the little known but influential Special Affect. The aforementioned “self-infliction” pretty much guaranteed those bands would never go anywhere. In retrospect, that’s probably not a bad thing. These days I hang around the on-line scene that has sprung up at Steve Albini’s electricalaudio.com site (Yay, PRF!) and do the occasional recording project. I’ve got an album or two that I have published on-line (mainly stuff that I did as part of a project on the PRF) that you can find here. I’ll leave you, dear listener, to decide what you think of it.
Hi again, Amy. It will be 30 years next year and still can’t think of anyone I’d rather take this journey with than you.
I’ve got an occasionally interesting day job. Somehow my training as an artist, through a very circuitous route, got me a job at really big company doing some really obscure work on inkjet printing. We make ink for digitally printing textiles. I’m a color “expert” and I help design and bring these inks to the textile industry. I’ve worked everyone from some of the most recognized names in fashion to guys who print t-shirts. The job has taken me to Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Taipei, Amsterdam and Cleveland – exotic places all. As I type this it all sounds very glamorous, but really, it’s a job, they pay me, I show up. The international travel thing isn’t half as cool as they like to make it seem on TV. The reality is that business hotels look pretty much the same wherever you go, airports all suck and only rarely do I get some big fancy expense account dinner. Mainly I hang out in textile mills and meeting rooms trying to get things to work.
So, that’s me, at least it is on August 23, 2014. If you’re still reading – thanks, but really, go do something else now. Hug your boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat, significant other. Go paint, play an instrument, take a walk – this internet thing is fun and all, but for your own sake, go do something because I’ve got dinner waiting.