Wednesday, March 4, 2009

These paintings probably need a lot of explaining. If you click on them, they will fill your entire screen. I started painting about ten years ago. I'll explain more when I learn how to design a blog!

.......(a couple of days later.) Okay, I actually know a little about blog design, thanks to my friend gulahiyi, so here goes. I began painting as an alternative to staying numb from medication for depression. Instead of lithium, prozac and zoloft, my (new) psychiatarist told me to try painting. At his suggestion, I went out to the local Walmart and bought over 60 bottles of acrylic paint (little bottles that cost about .50 cents each). Then, I went down to the local furniture store and asked permission to cut up a couple of cardboard boxes that had contained refrigerators. When I came home and started painting, I quickly discovered that the process required significant concentration. Time seemed to pass rapidly (I thought I had been painting for an hour and it turned out to be four hours.) I remember that I was immediately fascinated by the way that cardboard absorbs paint.
It took several weeks to get all of the drugs out of my system, but after that, I painted each day for two months. I have no artistic training (I guess that is obvious) and simply selected subjects that appealed to me (old biblical stories, events from my childhood, etc.) Eventually, some people came and talked to me about my paintings. I was told that I was a folk or "outsider" artist and some friends gave me books about people who were "compulsive painters." In time, I met other people who "created" the same way that I did. I even began to sell paintings! However, my "calling" is storytelling and/or playwriting, and after I found that I could write again, I slacked off on the painting. I still paint when the mood hits me.


  1. Gary,

    They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and I think the same thing applies to the arts. Your primitive paintings have a charm and originality that is totally lacking in the work of the average amateur painters who take a few art lessons and study an art book or two. Apparently this causes brain damage and leads to delusions that people actually want to see homogenous, mediocre paintings of fruit, flowers, and landscapes. So stay primitive buddy. Imagine the loss to the world if Henri Rouseau or Grandma Moses had decided they needed art lessons! By the way, I have a minor in art history so I think my opinion is worth at least… well, two cents maybe.

  2. Steve,
    Thank you, kindly. I have to admit, painting is one of the most self-satisfying things I have ever done. I wish i hadn't waited so long...but then, maybe I had to be "a senior citizen" before I could paint.