When I was a developing artist, like many young painters I painted subjects I felt were worthy and, I hoped, perceived as timely and appropriate. I created many colorful watercolor paintings that danced with line, shapes and color and were heavy with technique but, alas, very light in content. My subject matter jumped all over the place, with no evident commitment. I knew something was missing, but I was unaware how to go about finding what “it” was.
Many of the semi-abstract paintings from this period?executed in watercolor and sometimes, acrylic?admittedly held little conceptual interest; the arrangements of the colors and shapes seemed to carry the work. These paintings even found recognition through a number of various local art competitions and actually won some impressive awards. My reaction to this attention was mixed, because although I was happy that my work was being recognized, it was at a time when I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing. I felt that I was being insincere to myself and to everyone who viewed my work. My sense of being an artist was certainly not being fulfilled.
I was probably not aware of it at the time, but I was going through a serious crisis of artistic identity. After living with this dilemma for some time, I decided I needed to go back to square one and try to discover what was really important to me and my art.
Since I had been a longtime disciple of the art of drawing, I chose to focus on strengthening my drawing and perceptual skills. Through this process, I inadvertently journeyed back to another original source: nature. Suddenly, a whole new world opened up?or should I say a world that for some time had been lost to me.