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Artistic Statement

Art is communicating what is important to an artist, and offering an experience to the viewer as a gift, one that no one else can give.

My own work is most often simply about the excruciating beauty of the world. A painting can invoke new thinking, or it can be a respite from the stressful thoughts of life. I mainly pursue joy in my work.

Art is adventure. There is no goal other than to experiment, express, and play, with the things that I love: color, shape, line, and light. Sometimes animals or objects show up. Sometimes there are light-hearted cartoon-like images. Sometimes there is only an echo of a subject, with the color and the paint consuming the canvas. More important than style or consistency, is what is currently calling out to be painted – in the way that it asks.

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars”
Martin Luther

“God is in the details”
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“An artist is an explorer”
Henri Matisse

“Art should be like a holiday. Something to give a [person] the opportunity to see things differently, and to change [their] point of view.”
Paul Klee


About me. Hmm… how to start this. A typical day begins with is non-existent. Coffee always gets made though. Nothing happens without coffee.

Later in the day I will often be teaching a class. I have a schedule and everything.

Ok, history. I went to art school a long time ago. After that, I opened a design firm on Music Row. Illustration and design were my main activities in the 80s and 90s. There were some awards, lots of big clients, and over 20 children’s books (millions in print, so that was fun.) I got bored though, which is a tendency. Some other things happened here and there. I found the very best partner in business and life, Ruthie. Amazing kids showed up, Evan and Val.

So after a while, I noticed there was no place to really learn art, and started an art school for kids and adults, Firstlight Art. Lots of students showed up. Maybe more than 4,000 of them by now. Counting them is tedious, but it’s otherwise a very awesome place, and we’ve been in Cool Springs for about 18 years. More info is on the LEARN page.

I make a lot of art, so I’m opening The Gallery at Firstlight in August 2024. I hope you can come see it. You can preview the work by going to the ARTWORK page, but seeing artwork live and in person is important if you really want to see artwork. Hence, gallery. You can think of it kind of like a like a zoo for instagram posts where you get to see the real thing out in the wild – but also like a pet store, where you can take one home if you want.

I’ve written a couple of books to help artists. Check out the BOOKS page for info.

Also on the LEARN page is a description and link for my Substack blog, Artibles – word snacks the the creative side of your brain. It’s also for artists and is pretty much free.

Everyone is creative. I think a lot more people are artists than people think.

Thank you for looking at my website. Let’s talk soon.

Paintings of my offspring

Coffee setup, with organic Mayorga (dark roast) coffee from Costco. Aeropress. Grinder by Fellow. (links don’t make me any money. I’m just sharing info.)

Favorite Coffee Mug, made by Rachel Durham

Drawing of me with delicious coffee, by talented student, Maeve