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Before I became a full-time painter about twenty years ago I was a different kind of artist. I made things out of words and called them short stories, poems or rants. Some were published, most were not. Seeking to become a better artist, I began an open-mic on Thursday nights weekly at the Owl & Thistle off Seattle's Pioneer Square. It was called handcrafted voice in the hopes that it would become a forum for testing and improving work. Like most such ideas it had a few good years and I learned enough to realize I was never going to write commercially enough to survive. I had begun to occasionally attend on Wednesday nights a long-running figure session at the University of Seattle followed by a core group going to the University pub to continue the drawing sessions and compare work over beer and bar food. At the sessions I sat uncomfortably at the back, more fascinated usually by the rapid motions of the artists than the sloth of the models stillness. Eventually I interested myself in the long poses by making the sketch of the model a game of sorts where a single word poem gave up the form of its letters to recombine into the pose of the model. This night the word was "Peace." A version of this in layered transparent photocopy and Japanese hand-made paper framed by Plasteel in Seattle was my first commissioned sale. This digital version is a special juxtaposition of the wordform for my Daylighted portfolio.
I am a native of California, returning to reside here in 1999 after careers in the military, theater, historic building restoration and writing. I have been dedicated to painting since 1992. In over 20 years I have taught myself to paint by studying great works from around the world that exemplify the styles and techniques of every age, by reading artists' first-hand accounts of their own experience and processes and by going to the easel each day to develop the ...