Saturday, December 14, 2013


"An artist makes a spiritual evaluation of the essence within a thing and then he[she] gets it out; that is the outer appearance of the inner essence and, it is the point. Sophisticated materials and complex systems are not necessarily good media for art because art is a simple thing and, the more simple the medium, the less you have to get over to get to the fact of the piece." -- John Chamberlain

Graphite drawing from a 2013 sketchbook, 3x3 inches

I have always loved the simplicity of my materials.  I have not wavered from my use of traditional oil paints on canvas for over 20 years. I always use Schmincke Mussini oil paints on primed canvas -- no fillers, waxes, driers, complex mediums or varnishes, just oil paint and mineral spirits. Graphite on paper is also another favorite choice of media -- and you can't get much simpler than a pencil and a piece of paper.  

I think Chamberlain is correct in stating that there is sometimes a disconnect between the method and materials and the essence of a piece of art, especially in today's art world, where beauty and refinement are often marginalized, and gimmicks and poor craftsmanship seem to get all the attention.  I am honestly perplexed by and frustrated with much of the art that is being produced and treated seriously in today's art market.  Alas, I continue to plod along on the path toward beauty and essence, and I refuse to give up on the spiritual nature of my task.