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The Phidian Organization in Dixon Illinois has held its art show for 75 years. This event features regional artists works judged in various categories. It is the premier show in the area with the largest prize purse awarded to several different pieces. I am humbled and honored to report that my piece, “Oklahoma:1938” was selected as best in show this year. This is the third consecutive year that the Best in Show award has been awarded to one of my pieces. To say I am amazed is a complete understatement. I would like to thank judge Tim Harrison, The Phidian Organization and The Next Picture Show Gallery for all of their work for this wonderful show.

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We live in a time of speed. Quick this, instant that, high speed something or rather. It's easy to get caught up in. Soon your attention span is that of a gnat on caffeine and your on medication to treat heart palpitations. As an artist, you are not immune to this way of operating. Show applications, commission deadlines, keeping up with your social media, opening receptions, networking, supporting other artists, sales, shipping. All of that and that doesn't include just trying to be in the studio creating the actual artwork that is the basis for the entire thing. So slowing down has always been at the forefront of how I want to handle this art venture. I have a regular job. (A term I hate as an artist but use it anyway). That job comes with enough stress. I don't need to have art go down that same road. Yet, because we're bombarded with go,go,go, it can happen anyway. So sometimes I need to make a conscious effort to not let it. And for the most part, so far, so good.


As an artist, you get asked a lot of questions. From the normal, "How much is it?" or "How long did that take you?" to the deeper, more thought provoking ones. I was once asked in an interview, "When someone visits a gallery and views your show, what do you want them to take away from it!?" I don't remember how I answered. Probably some long, drawn out thing, much like this blog. But a while back someone sent this picture, the one attached to the header of this very blog, and that's when I knew the real answer to the question. I want them to sit down and look at it. To feel something from it. And while that seems like an obvious answer, sometimes this hectic life clouds our overall goal. But when we slow down enough to enjoy seeing someone else slow down and enjoy our work, that is the ultimate. Of all of the random gallery shots I have clogging up the memory of my iPhone, this is and will always be, my favorite. It's what I need to keep in my head as to what to strive for when creating. What I need to keep in my head as to how to go about life. What we all need to do once in a while. Slowing down.


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I bounce back and forth between both human and animal portraits for the most part. There's just something about the challenge of capturing the emotions of them that I love. One of my favorite subjects to work with are the farmers and sharecroppers of the depression era. Why? Maybe just because they are pure in their expressions. They've seen things. They know things. And, I'm a sucker for drawing denim overalls. Lol. The medium really seems to work well with them. So I started this piece, that is unnamed as of now, earlier this week. This is how I work, top left to bottom right. But first, the eyes. I have to do them first. It's the most fun for me and it helps kind of make a connection with the piece as I work. Call me crazy, but it seems to work. So I thought I'd share these thoughts and a little bit about what sparked this subject for a piece that I hope to have finished, and titled, soon.

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