Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - LIVING PROFILE -

De­scribe what be­ing an artist means to you. I re­ally don’t know how to de­fine the term “artist” in the 21st cen­tury, but I would greatly love to hold my de­sire to cre­ate ob­jects through­out my life.

I just fin­ished read­ing Martin Gay­ford’s won­der­ful book on Bri­tish fig­u­ra­tive artist Lu­cian Freud. Righ up un­til his re­cent death at the age of 88, Freud still painted eight to 10 hours a day, six days a week, with the pas­sion and en­ergy of a man half his age, De­scribe the evo­lu­tion of your work. I was ex­tremely lucky when I came back to Ot­tawa from univer­sity in the early ‘80s. I found a great co­hort of ta­lented, mid-ca­reer artists who in­flu­enced my work greatly. It po­si­tioned my think­ing to be more hon­est to my own con­cerns as an artist, and pro­duce art ob­jects that had a more per­sonal voice. The evo­lu­tion of most of my work comes through chance and by view­ing “mis­takes” as pos­si­bil­i­ties where I can es­tab­lish new view­points and fol­low new paths. Have you ever been un­able to cre­ate? I have been for­tu­nate to have a love for art his­tory, along with a love for art, out­side the pa­ram­e­ters of con­ven­tional western art his­tory. This has pro­vided me with a wealth of re­sources for ideas, for plans, and for fu­ture projects. I stay away from try­ing to come up with the “per­fect idea” or “per­fect art piece” be­cause it doesn’t ex­ist. I con­cen­trate on the joy of work­ing with my hands and let­ting the ob­ject evolve through the process. Your suc­cess is ev­i­dent; where do you want to take it from here? Re­al­ity helps me to min­i­mize the whole no­tion of suc­cess, as one minute you may get a large com­mis­sion and feel on top of the world, and the next week you might not even get short-listed. I just feel blessed as I have two ca­reers: one as a pro­fes­sional artist and the other as a Can­ter­bury High School vis­ual art teacher. I take each day as it comes. What has been your proud­est mo­ment to date? Ab­so­lutely, the birth of my daugh­ter and be­ing, hope­fully, a good fa­ther and hus­band. Se­condly, be­ing hon­est as both a teacher and artist.

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