sleeping 2016.07.13.017

Sleeping 2016.07.13.017 Proceeds will benefit the Lucius Beebe Library In Massachusetts.

I have embarked on an adventure to paint whatever I want and as much as I can—and to give it all away. When I decided to retire, I knew I wanted a focus to take me into the next chapter of my life. I had to retrain my brain from running a business for so long. 

I also enjoy painting my dreams and conjuring up images that convey ambiguity and, hopefully, nuance. But I know I needed more skills. So I spent the year of 2018 in Italy learning how to paint “realistically,” to increase my skill level. I learned fundamentals that will now be useful in creating my own work. I must admit that I find still life painting rather boring—but I do respect those who have more patience and skill than me and can create the illusion of reality. I love painting the face and figure of the human being. I find the subtleties that can be conveyed by the face and body very intriguing. Minute changes in a few muscles changes the whole expression and meaning of a pose. 

My problem is that I believe nothing is “real”—at least in the art world. All painting is propaganda in one way or another. The engines of this propaganda machine are the gallery owners, the individual promoters, the art press and anyone who wants “their” view to be “the” view. There certainly is nothing wrong with these machinations. Artists need to eat. And what gets through the society style-sieve can be good, bad, mediocre and/or ugly. In some cases the sales are inversely proportional to the quality. In other cases, the quality is only determined through the frenzy of the market—or the purveyors of cultural taste. 

The main issue related to this propaganda band-wagon is the tight relationship between sales and what an artists does. Money, basically, corrupts the creative process (at least in my opinion.) It forms a live-or-die bond that can dictate—expect for the very few at the top of the art heap—what is painted, created or made. I want no part of this damaging bond. So, my business plan was hatched in the throes of making my exit from MSR Design. My plan is simple: I give everything away.

All you have to do is:

  • Navigate to and choose the painting or drawing you want
  • Send me an email (through the contact button which automatically adds the name),
  • Decide for yourself how much the painting or drawing is worth to you
  • Do not disclose that amount to me
  • Agree to donate that amount to your local library or literacy cause (other causes are negotiable.)
  • Agree to reimburse me a modest amount for shipping and materials

Snice I started this a few years ago, I have given away 29 paintings and drawings. Libraries in the US as well as Uganda and Japan have benefited. One person gave to an organization that trains service dogs for reading with children. Another gave the drawing to an auction to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Fukushima, Japan. Another donated money to buy book for a prison in California that incarcerates teens of Mexican origin. 

So: I get to have fun and help my true deep passion: the public library. For if I didn’t have a library to go to growing up, I might still be fixing flats in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I am very grateful that I can use my savings from 45 years of working to do this. 

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