+1 ::: Why
are you an artist?
for calling me an artist. I suppose
everybody does something in their life
that can be considered art. I think
I paint because I can't sing or play
an instrument. I would rather be in
an 80's type hardcore band, but I suppose
I'm having more success as a painter.
I'm lucky that painting is paying my
bills, and I plan on doing it all the
way down into the ground... I'm an 'artist
'because it keeps me from being a modern-day
corporate indentured servant. I live
small, don't drive, don't over-consume...
::: Tell me about your art.
to try to chronicle the day's events
in a way that nobody else is doing,
or doesn't have the stamina to keep
it up for 50 years. Being a Washington,
DC American painter is important to
me. I think the rest of the world has
a fairly accurate impression of 'the
American way' and its intentions. I
want to make sure our actions (good
and bad), as a society, are documented.
My art is one man's take on what has
happened to him, those around him, and
what the future seems to hold.
The paintings have been called raw by
a lot of people. but a lot people also
call them crap. I think as long as what
I do is not 'expected' I will be doing
the right thing.
+3 ::: A lot
of the people in your works seem to
be filled with pain and fear, could
you share some more about these works?
everybody has experienced some pain
and fear in their lives. Just as paintings
of pretty flowers and sunsets with horsies
make us smile and feel content, I want
to paint emotionally charged intense
works that cause discomfort or inspire
people to challenge themselves. I had
some unique physical trauma as a child
that got me started on this path...
I'm a generally happy person, but I
have taught myself to channel anger
and intensity in art. The best musicians
and painters have done it, those are
::: What artists have influenced you
I am my
favorite artist, but growing up I was
lucky to be exposed to the work of Sue
an artist from the UK that does a lot
of politically charged work and challenges
widely accepted societal beliefs and
behaviors. I also enjoy the work of
and Jean Michel Basquiat*.
women series are great and I never get
tired of the very old portrayals of
traumatic scenes from the bible. The
movies about Warhol, Pollock and Picasso
are fun... Basquiat has the best movie
created about him*.
+5 ::: What
do you do for fun (besides art)?
a lot of games on my dreamcast. Sometimes
I run around the block.
::: What inspires you to paint?
being alive is all I need. We are here
for such a short time, it's like we've
My studio/apartment is very small. I
have around 2000 works in the 600 square
feet I call home. The paintings are
three deep on my walls in some places.
I can't escape it and the floors are
already ruined, so why stop I suppose.
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
sold my first painting about 10 years
ago, I was gainfully employed in the
world of software development. So back
then, it wasn't financially 'necessary'
to paint. At about that time, an art
agent got me to sign an exclusive contract
and handled my 'promotion' for 5 years
or so, encouraged high pricing and pigeonholed
me into a specific type of art and collector
base. When I realized my friends and
people making less than $40K a year
couldn't afford my work, I figured it
was time for a change. So I fired my
agent and now I do it all myself. I'm
doing much better now and selling hundreds
of works a year, rather than 20 or so.
I have a BS in computer science and
a minor business degree. I have no formal
am in a lot of galleries, but they typically
buy the pieces outright from me (and
they can sell them for whatever they
want), or they handle the large more
significant pieces and take a commission
if they sell. I price my work from $20
or so all the way up to $5,000. If somebody
likes my work, I want them to be able
to afford an original piece. Since I
am a full-time artist, unmarried, and
no kids I have a lot of time to paint
and experiment... I don't rush or cookie-cutter
out my work like a factory... each piece
gets my full attention. I am a prolific
artist, and I never run out of material...
I feel my style will change and evolve
do my own website*
and have found that people tend to visit
weekly to see the new works. I typically
post most of the new work, although
several pieces I don't post, so there
is incentive for people to visit my
studio. Studio visits can be useful,
but sometimes people flake out and never
show up. I have to drop everything (painting)
waiting for them to arrive, so if they
flake on me, they don't get invited
::: Where do you see youself in 10 years?
regarded as the most diverse, prolific,
affordable, and important painter of
the last 20 years.
It would be nice to have a larger space
to paint in, but i'll get by just fine
with my current setup.
::: Tell me more about your latest series
of paintings and where you are going
completed a project I came up with called
'31 days in july'*.
I did a 30" x 40" piece (mostly
oil) on chipboard each day influenced
by the top news stories in the washington
post during july. It wasn't necessarily
more painting than I usually do, but
I found the restriction of being limited
to just the top news stories to be a
bit constrictive. I did works dealing
with the disclosure of false intelligence
reports on Iraq's uranium purchase,
the bloodshed in Liberia, the Middle
East 'peace' process, the Iraq war,
and redskin's training camp... to name
a few. they are all on my website at
if you want to take a look.
next time I do a similar project (likely
next year), I'll take the daily news
but do a painting about a story that
wasn't covered on the front page. I
tend to watch BBC news each night and
am amazed at the stories the American
media doesn't cover.... that is, if
you can watch the US news long enough
past the car and drug company commercials
to figure what wasn't covered.
::: What advice would you give to an
artist just starting out?
is very hard. Challenge yourself to
paint badly. Shock yourself. Don't tell
people you are an artist. Get rid of
all unnecessary expenses. Sell your
car, cancel cable. You'll only be able
to keep one or two good friends. You'll
never retire. Buy a good fan, ventilate.