I’m an artist. Gosh it’s hard explaining what that means. Of course everybody knows what an artist is. But my reason for being an artist is a lot different from lots of other artists’ reasons and from the notions that the non-artists have. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain myself to myself so as to explain myself to others.
But, why explain? There’s a mystique about art, and should we not let mystery have its sway? No one asks a dentist “why.” Dentistry is self-explanatory. So why do people ask artists why. They ask, I think, because every instance of art making is a little different from every other. The expectations of what art should be are unsettled. “I know it when I see it.” And lots of people find a certain mystery in how art is made. So art shares something in common with theater and magic.
So, who am I? Why do I paint? Why should this matter to you? These are all things I need to figure out. I hope as I ponder them, the answers will reveal things about us to ourselves. Because art needs an audience as much as it needs the artist who creates art. My picture-making is incomplete until that audience — perhaps you — is there helping me realize why I made these things.