My decision to focus on printmaking has a lot to do with my upbringing in central Nebraska, where I grew up on a small farm. I spent most of my time playing, fishing, and working outdoors. I learned to drive a tractor at age six and began to pick up pipe, cut grass, hoe beans typical farmboy work. I learned to appreciate hard work and working with my hands. Printmaking allows me to relive that experiencethe physical exertion of rubbing and pulling a print by hand is some of the most rewarding work I do.
My upbringing taught me to appreciate not just the product of work, but the process itself. At 18, I went to work in a slaughterhouse in Lexington, where I learned plumbing, welding, electrical and mechanical systems, and honed my carpentry skills. This craftsmanshipthe ability to appreciate both the result of a hard days work and the experience of the work itselftranslates to the materials, tools and processes of printmaking today.
This is especially true when I cut my blocks for my prints. Understanding how certain woods will react to being carved allows me to enhance the visual experience, and at the same time connect more closely to the event to the process. I like to use objects from the scene I am creating, like scrap wood found in the alley I am drawing. This confidence and understanding of material and the different processes allows me to always be doing something different, and that helps me create that is new, exciting and interesting.