SCULPTOR, PAINTER, TEACHER.
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.