I don’t think one becomes an artist, I believe if one is an artist, he or she knows it. The challenge is believing that you are an artist and becoming the artist you know you can be.
I have always been creative and involved in creativity. I played jazz at a time when it was possible. I depended on being skillful as a designer to achieve success in architectural practice. I was creative and innovative as a teacher, and some even accuse me of being creative and innovative as an educational administrator. However, the discipline I aspired to succeed in most has always been and remains, painting.
To me, painting is a metaphor – it is the journey, not the destination, that is important. I love to explore new ideas but cannot yet abandon the fundamentals of the craft. To be a watercolorist, I believe I must prove to myself that I know and can manage the media. I explore the parameters and venture beyond classical methods but remain in the quest to satisfy my criteria for achievement. Perhaps it is this unsatisfied pursuit that motivates me to paint every day.
My present work is firmly grounded in experiencing architecture and urban space. The architect in me is too ingrained. Travelling, which is also part of my life, allows me to see the world as it was and is today, and capture the color, texture, and form as it will always be. Painting as I travel gives me the discipline to sit and really see and experience what would otherwise be digital images of what I tell others I saw. My painting is as much a part of how I see, or choose to see, the world as I can possibly make it. I have learned this about myself: I am more successful painting plain air in a noisy and crowded piazza than I am on a breathtaking but lonely mountain top. I paint when I am in a socially stimulating environment and I need that stimulation to be creative.
I now look at and critique my work and ask what is next. Instead of just experimenting as an act of discovery, I am looking at recent work and work completed years ago, and I am prepared to attempt to take that work further using new technology. I call it “second generation painting.” This may be a journey to nowhere, but I will follow that path and hopefully determine if past discipline can lead to future creativity.