The artist, with paint-stained hands, shows a Halloween  item to a friend

The artist, with paint-stained hands, shows a Halloween  item to a friend

I’ve always been excited about creating things. My first artistic "WOW!" happened Kindergarten, when I discovered rubbings when I tried to write on a piece of paper on top of one of my little sister's Tinkerbell blocks. Since then, I haven't stopped making things.

I’ve never belonged to the “anything goes” crowd. That approach can get you mired in ego, and you risk becoming self-satisfied. When that happens, you are probably going to make a lot of junk. Some people turn their snoots up at realism and disdain “pretty sunsets”, something I heard once from a college gallery director. That's about trying to be "elite", but  I bet when these people go on vacation, they don’t sleep in the street in an active war zone or overnight at a city dump!

A lot of so-so or bad art seems to get by mainly on size impact because huge is hard to ignore. Small, intimate artworks are something you come to on your own terms. Bigger is not necessarily better, in art as in much else in life. 

I've never seen any value in huge replicas of ordinary small objects or soft sculptures of hard things. You see it once and maybe you think, okay, that's different, surprising, or humorous because it’s out of context. After that, it's a big  "So what?"  Maybe that’s why some people think contemporary art “has to be new”. The joke is no longer funny or interesting once you know the punchline. Read The Painted Word by Thomas Wolfe if you want to understand how modern art evolved from what amounted to a joke. Enjoy the joke, but don't take it seriously.


To quote two famous people who knew a thing or two about authenticity and charlatans: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." - Abe Lincoln, and more recently and more succinctly, "People know the Real McCoy." - Leonard Bernstein.

Maybe junk art can fill a blank space on a wall for a while, but like junk food, it probably isn’t good for you in the long run.