in 1997, I began to paint after I had brain surgery to remove a benign brain tumor from the right side of my brain. I was recovering from surgery, and out of the blue, I called my mom and asked her to take me to buy some paint and brushes. This was the first time I ever painted in my life. While I was growing up, I was never exposed to art and just didnt know anything about it, though I had always wanted to learn more. I began painting on wood, paper, newspaper, anything I could find, then I started to paint on canvas. When I went back to my job in television, people looked at my art on the walls of my cubicle, and some people encouraged me to go further with it. I would work all day, then come home and paint at night, and looked forward to the time I would be painting. In October of 2000, I decided to leave my job and make a go of being a full-time artist. Everyday, I learn something new about art, and I love making art. The biggest compliment I can get is when adults look at my work and say, that looks so childlike. On the surface, my work seems to be innocent and non-threatening, but if you look deeper, there are many times observations about everything, from life, death, religion, politics, pain, childhood, just about everything. I never know what Im going to paint, it just comes to me as I go. I love to write poetry, also, but dont do it as much as I used to.. My artistic influences are varied. I like the work of Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Howard Finster, Andy Warhol, Alice Neal, Harry Teague, many others. I think art is everywhere, sometimes we just have to see.
My artistic influences are varied and constantly changing. Art that is accessible to all people is what I believe in, whether its kids art, street art or in a gallery. I refuse to buy into the fancy notion that great art can only be seen in a gallery or museum, its also in daily life, in movies, in music, on the highway and where we least expect it. Ive done some volunteer work at schools basically showing kids the kind of stuff I like to do, then having them jump in and do their thing, and I am always inspired by the art I see kids do, since my stuff feels like it comes from the kid inside me, the kid that never got to make art when I was younger. In my everyday life, I find that its the little things that inspire me to paint, many times its the music I listen to, something I heard in passing, or being outside running around with my dog. I think art is everywhere, sometimes we just have to see.
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