“Art is noble through being useless.” So said cultural historian Jacque Barzun, in a series of lectures delivered at the National Gallery in Washington (later reprinted as “The Use and Abuse of Art“). Which begs the question, does its inversion also hold true: Art is useless through being noble.”

I spent about 10 years after graduate school painting and being Mr. Mom while my wife toiled away as an attorney. Being immersed in so much domesticity shaped my creative output in ways I’m still discovering. My art during this period was largely concerned with family life in all its manifestations, including being a caregiver to my two sons.

It was the best job I ever had in my life.

Later we switched roles and my sweet wife went back to graduate school and I went to work full time doing web design and, eventually, IT work in corporate America as a senior systems analyst. Finding time to paint became an ongoing struggle but I still managed to make art, although at times it was a little episodic.

2015 found me reporting to a boss that convinced me I needed an exit strategy, and this was the push I needed to return to my artistic roots. I continued to do IT work (with a new supervisor!) but began showing work in a variety of venues. 

By the time I retired during the Covid epidemic, I’d been in over a dozen shows. My first post-IT exhibition was a solo show at the Fort Worth Community Art Center (now Arts Fort Worth). Although attendance was impacted because we were still under Covid lockdown/social distancing rules, it was a great experience and well-received by those able to see it. Since then I’ve continued to show often in a number of prestigious venues and won numerous awards.

Art is ultimately about language: how we communicate, not just what we communicate. It’s what makes a grocery list different from a poem.

We each engage in a dialog with a piece of art when we encounter it. Your conversation is hopefully different from mine. I see my work as being like loose pages out of a book where the viewer finishes the story. I don’t have a set way I want the story to be completed — in fact if it has only one ending it hardly seems worth looking at a second time.

Finally, making art is how you find out what really matters to you. Until you are emotionally engaged in your subject, you’ll never create anything important. because if it isn’t important to you, it will never be important to anyone else.