I would say I rediscovered a childhood love for painting in November of 2018. Art in general rarely crossed my mind during most of my adult life, and for that reason I don’t have much in the way of a Resume. Post-college in NYC I attended grad school while teaching high school special education, took writing/editing jobs, obsessed over relationships, occasionally wrote fiction, smoked a lot of weed, and increasingly through it all: drank, drank...drunk.
My alcoholism got so bad in Fall 2018 that I had to take a time-out and do what I had always absolutely feared doing by age 30: returning home to live with my mother (who is amazing, by the way). Thankfully, when one door closes, you can sit behind that door in existential angst--in suburban Alabama--until you get so bored that you go rummaging through drawers and find some crappy old paint but no brushes, some thousand q-tips, some cardboard, and, as we say in Dixieland, Vwaowllah! My first painting, a portrait, and it wasn’t bad. The next evening: BASICS, brushes and canvas boards from Walmart, as well as painting numbers two and three. I became interested in abstract portraits and my interests in terms of subject matter and style continue to grow. Painting helps me to focus on the task at hand, not stress or any other negativity. I also loved (and still do) the beauty of being able to fix any mistakes I made or utilize them to improve a painting. I tend to make a ton of them before I arrive at the final product.
I didn’t stop painting until I returned to NYC in January of this year, which was a mistake. I returned to old ways and “discovered” I was definitely not the type of artist whose lack of sobriety benefited him. In May I was able to remove the habit from the equation, and I began painting again. Alcoholism, a disease massively misunderstood and stigmatized by society, is just a part of who I am, a part albeit that wants me dead. For me, art is an antidote. That is why it is a theme that sometimes occurs in my work. I want to bring attention not only to the insidiousness of the disease, but the ways in which modern society both enables and stigmatizes it.