“For me creating art has always been to take a step away from the world around me. I remember as far back as nursery school the joy of finger-painting sent me into another place, engaged another part of my brain than the one that demanded graham crackers and milk and wanted to run like a madman through the playgrounds without adults telling me what to do. The colors thrilled me, but the creation soothed me. I don’t know what this was all about, but it might be true that something like painting (or drawing or carving or sculpting or even cutting and pasting) literally engages a part of the brain that often lies dormant or unstimulated while also subduing that “real world” part.
My work for this show is part-abstract, part-realistic, with just enough subconscious stuff going on that I can’t fully explain it. I grew up in the fields and woods of downstate Illinois, and my love of nature is manifest, which you might notice. My butterfly, moth, and insect collection is pretty large, I must admit. And I had so many pets as a kid –hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, toads, guppies, frogs, lizards, salamanders, snakes, crickets, even a huge box turtle which I lost one summer and found in the forest eight months later (I’d written my name on its carapace)—that I almost drove my mother insane.
I try to do paintings and collages that are pretty—that is, aesthetically pleasing–and which might elicit some novel thought from the viewer, or a chuckle or two. To be entertained and pleased by a piece of art are fundamental rules, I feel, no matter how symbolic or socially critical they may be. I have seen works of great artistry that I would nevertheless refuse to have in my house or office. Life is too short to look at ugly things when you don’t have to.
Maybe this all goes back to the escape I felt the first time I put brush—or, rather, finger—to liquid pigment. It felt good, and I enjoyed it. I want people to enjoy that outcome, too.”
The opening is from 7:00 to 10:00
1513 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
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