(48"x36", acrylic on panel, painted in 70 minutes @ Portland youth conference)
I’ve been traveling a lot these past two months doing a number of different things… from painting at a marathon in Carlsbad, CA to riding in a van with the Robbie Seay Band during an ice storm in north Texas. Although at times my job can be frustrating for the uncertainty of constant paychecks, it certainly keeps me on my toes for providing an adventurous journey. And for that I am thankful.
I was recently in Portland, Oregon for a youth conference where I was working with my friend Logan Martin and the good people in his band. This whole group is a delight to work with… and when you have down time in a different town, it’s nice to have good friends to spend your free time with. One night we were at BJ’s restaurant, I was talking to my friend Brian who plays the rhodes in the band. We were talking about a range of things… usually our favorite thing is new bands we are listening to… but Brian brought up the paintings I was making at the event (shown above and below). He dabbles in paint and he was going on about how much he loved watching me work. Now painting is just old hat to me because I do it all the time. I see a talented guy like Brian who plays the keys amazingly and I think “sheesh, wish I could do that.” What I’m trying to say is that we have a mutual admiration for one anothers talents. He then was saying what he likes the most is that not only did he think my images were great and meaningful, but he loved that I was making them in front of 800 high schoolers.
“Your art actually changes peoples lives.”
(48"x36", acrylic on panel, painted in 65 minutes)
Now please understand that I think that what I do is good for the context in which I do it. But every artist has this voice in their head that tells them to “stop wasting your time and get a real job” and says “everyone is better than you”. So I want to assure you that in no way do I think I’m some superior artist. But Brian’s words rang in my ears all night and throughout the weekend.
As I talked with students and encouraged those who are artists to make good art in their lifetimes, I heard from them that they appreciated what I was doing and they appreciated me being there and giving value to their giftings. Even the leader of the event told me that I had a part in the impact that the whole event was having on the students. As I’ve been home (sick in bed) the last few days thinking about it, I have a huge sense of gratefulness in me. I’m grateful that all this hard work over that last 5 years is paying off. I’m grateful that my prayers have been answered in the way of wanting to be an artist but wanting to also to make work that in meaningful in the lives of others. I’m grateful that allowing others to see the process of making art isn’t just some “neat” performance, but in some way it is connecting with people in a deep way.
(48"x36", acrylic on panel, painted in 70 minutes)
Maybe you could care less about this and sorry for possibly being too self reflective in this post. But I think all of us have a deep desire to know that we are not wasting our lives with the hard work we are doing. In a field that has little to no monetary appreciation put on it, it’s a very hard journey to keep carving out time and sacrificing parts of my life to make sure that I keep making a space to create. I’ve become convinced that this is what I will ultimately spend my life doing… no matter what. And that’s a bit scary now at 31 seeing that my ladder to climb is something that I will have to create. There are no outside structures providing a road map to success… or assisting me in that journey. But Brian’s words were an unbelievable booster for me to know that all this “un-knownness” is worth it. It’s doing something. It’s fulfilling something. It’s fulfilling.
So thanks Brian.
(interactive response mural at conference)
February 20 | Art Show | Seattle
I will be showing at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center through the Art on the Ridge program. The theme is: “Think, Grow, Be…” and I will be showing with other local artists. I will have all new work up and it should be a cool event (no promises). Maybe see you there.
6532 Phinney Ave N. Seattle
Phinney Neighborhood Association Rm #3
Most of you know this and have probably already seen this but I was on the Price Is Right game show ten years ago and I finally put it up on line. You can click here to watch it.
Until the next time… make space for art.