I’m a late bloomer. I drifted a little after high school, then did a couple stints in the Air Force, where I worked as an electrician, then decided to leave the service. A little more drifting, and I realized the only thing I really wanted to do was create art, so in 2000, I enrolled at LSU Shreveport. I was twenty-nine years old, working on my BA in fine art (with a graphic design concentration), and feeling like I had a lot of catching up to do. My professor, who was considering retirement, was of the old-school, and made us go through our color theory and design lessons by hand. That is, no computers. We had to learn the crafts of drawing, painting, cutting and pasting (with X-Acto knives and glue!), and to actually measure things with rulers. I couldn’t help myself: I fell in love with it all, especially painting, and from that point on, I became terribly uninterested in graphic design. My painting got better and better, though, and eventually became pretty darn good. In the intervening sixteen years or so, I’ve painted steadily on, creating multiple concurrent series, from pop art to illustrations, to abstract landscapes, and now, after earning my MA in fine art (with a studio concentration), I’m creating my mature work in purely abstract compositions.
I find that I’m very happy working without images. It’s very challenging to discover all the wonderful things you can do with the seemingly simple elements of colored lines and squares. My current series deals with the nature of connectedness. The lines, in their colors, their numbers and the contrast between them, create tension, an almost magnetic kind of push-pull effect, that wants to break down the invisible bond between the tiles, making them all zoom away in different directions. Meanwhile, the overall composition – the careful placement of the tiles in relation to one another – stabilizes and balances out the dynamic energy between them, keeping them together, making them form one unit, and making them greater than the sum of their parts. I believe it’s this element in the work that reflects the nature of human relationships, and makes the piece intellectually stimulating and emotionally charged. It’s the invisible bond (perhaps the human mind and our abstract thinking) that forms the final work of art.