It has been about four months since I have painted, and now I’m going back into the studio.
I’m always trying to think of something new to paint. Some new direction to take my art in…
It doesn’t usually work that way, though. If I just paint, the images evolve. It’s in painting that I learn to paint.
I took a few months off. I bought a house down south and moved away from Grand Marais.
What a silly thing to do. But I didn’t know better. I’ve been here for 30 years. I thought I could go to a new city and that everything I had done here would translate.
I was in the truck heading south, towing my car behind me. By the time I hit Indianapolis, it dawned on me that I was probably making a mistake.
I closed on the house anyway, and took a job at a big hospital. I kept saying “I want to be me again.”
Two months later, I was back in Minnesota trying to put the pieces back together the way they were before.
I’ve said I’m not going to paint fish in trees anymore. But guess what… I am.
Fish in trees. It was my idea, and it was a risky one. I had to explain “Why?”
And so I pointed out that this area was built on fishing and lumber. I referenced many instances where fish find themselves swimming amongst the branches of trees in the real world.
I was drawing and painting from an early age. Before I could read and write, I was drawing pictures. I took every art class available in my high school, so in my senior year, I got to teach a class (with the real art teacher present).
I think art should challenge us. To ask questions. To think about a deeper meaning, not only in art, but in our lives.
So I am not afraid of questions. Or of criticism. I would much rather have someone say they despise my work than shrug and say it’s ok. “Whatever.”
So yes. There will be more fish in treetops. But not only that.
For me, painting is so much more than just creating an image. It is therapy. It is meditation. It is breathing. It is being me.
I am connected to this place.