I wanted to be a painter.

I try not to cross post too much between my personal blogs, but this morning I feel the need to talk about my art; painting. I have painted off and on since I was a little kid doing finger paints at the kitchen table.

First painting, May, 1984
In junior high school (middle school, kids) I had to choose between taking art class or band, so I did band one year, art the second year, back to band to play the Sousaphone for freshman year, then neither for two years, ending with Art I my senior year in high school.

I took that class because it would be an easy grade, or so I thought. Instead, I found myself inspired, especially by the French Impressionists of the late nineteenth century.  Our instructor organized a school-wide art show for the end of the year, complete with local artists for jurors.  I chose to enter an impressionist style seascape, and spent the better part of a month working on it, one hour at a time.

I never expected that painting to even place in competition, but it won best in show!

That was it, I knew then what I wanted to do; I wanted to be a painter. Trouble is, to be a painter in the late 20th century, as today, meant one of two things: an extended stay in a M.F.A. program, or on-the-job training, wearing a mask, using a spray gun to tint the walls of your home.

After a few failed attempts it was determined that formal classroom education is not suited to me, especially when it comes to hands on activities like painting.  I knocked around a few schools for a while, got a vocational diploma, and a job, and then a wife and kids and a truckload of debt. Painting stopped for about 20 years; long enough for me to get divorced, go bankrupt (without filing bankruptcy), get re-married, make another kid, and a whole bunch of other shit to happen.
Longing
8"x10" acrylic on canvas, 2017

Fast forward to 2004 and I started painting again, and paint I did, over one hundred since then; some big, some small, mostly abstracts, but I dabble in figures, and lately have been coming back to landscapes.

Last night I began, and this morning, finished, another seascape, full circle back to the beginning. It's no van Gogh, but I like to think I've improved a little.

I have shown work publicly twice in local galleries, but I have not actively marketed my work.

In spite of my lackluster marketing skills I've sold a few paintings over the years, mostly to friends I've met online. I now have artwork hanging in homes in Tucson, Arizona, Pueblo, Colorado, Amarillo, Texas, as well as several cities across North Carolina. 

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