My first attraction to NFTs is that they are another medium to preserve and present the work I have made. If you haven’t read My Story yet it is enough to know that about 85% of my artwork, spanning over thirty years of work, have been lost or destroyed – including, sadly, even slides, copies and files of the work.
This archive is my attempt to recreate what was lost and provide one more form of preservation for future work. As more work is rediscovered more categories will be added below.
NFTs -- Rocky Mountain Landscapes Oil
This series consists of 17 works which were begun in the field and penned in the studio.
I have always been drawn to the magical side of watercolors. I was impressed by the naturalists, of course, but it was the books of my childhood that would have the greatest impression on me. Two clearly stand out in my mind — Beatrix Potter’s Collected works and the Rankin/Bass production of The Hobbit (I was given the hefty illustrated book as a Christmas present). Potter’s images were filled with detail and wit. The Hobbit swept me away with brooding backgrounds of washes and pen and ink by Minoru Nishida and stylized dwarves, elves, hobbits and wizards.
As a student at the university I was acquainted with Obata and Wyeth and I have carried their words with me.
“Just to imitate or depict an object of some part of nature is not enough [to] bring forth any beauty or truth of humanity . . . In expressing our minds, there must not be for a moment the slightest thought of dependence or imitation.”
—Chiura Obata 小圃 千浦
“The only virtue to it, is to put down an idea about what you feel at the moment.”
NFTs -- Rocky Mountain Landscapes Oil
Almost all my oil painting series start with 30 canvases or so. The main reason I do this is drying time — I rarely mix driers into my paints therefore a worked section may take days to dry “to the touch”. Multiple canvases allow me to always have a workable surface available. The typical oil takes about two months to execute — albeit the work time may be sporadic throughout a year or even two.
Penguin Contemplation Series
This series is the one that began it all. Executed in acrylics (before I discovered walnut oil -- I am allergic to linseed oil) this series of 25 paintings was first exhibited at the Cotton Exchange in Augusta, Georgia. I was surprised by the large turn out of family and friends, including the Mayor, and was especially honored by James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, attending. I executed this series just after college and it was by far the headiest of my work. For those of you who are curious -- "Why the Penguin?" I choose the penguin to symbolize the outsider. As a flightless bird from the South Pole it never appears in its own habitat and is often looking at the viewer or staring at the subject. It is the painted narrator who leads the view through a series of fantastic and challenging vistas leaving the viewer to contemplate the work.
These works (watercolors and mono prints) are inspired by the enigmatic poetry of Stephen Crane. Crane can be viewed as the American Kafka. His poems are often jarring and filled with the supernatural. They penetrate the follies of humanity: greed, self destructive behavior, wantonness, arrogance, etc. The series went on tour through being displayed mainly at Universities. Each painting was accompanied by a framed copy of Crane’s poetry. Reading of his works coincided with gallery openings. I am toying with the idea of creating animated NFTs of these works with voice overs — but that is a project for a later date. The poem below inspired the watercolor on the left.
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”
All my portraits are done in person “alla prima” (albeit from multiple sittings) and not from photos. I do not confine my portraits to any one style or even one medium. The style usually developed with the subject. My goal is to capture the spirit of the subject — I am not Singer Sargent (who I greatly respect) who had to produce flattering portraits for rich patrons to feed his family.
Recovered: 25% (though portraits are continuous genre)
As often as possible I took to the fields with a French Easel and tripod, camping chair in hand and followed in the footsteps of John Constable and Claude Monet. At first I began by returning to the same vista at the same time of day much like Monet's haystacks, Houses of Parliament and Rouen Cathedral series. Due to the pressures of modern life this practice resulted in many unfinished paintings. They started to stack up begging to be finished next year on the same calendar date. This finally gave way to me executing paintings all in one sitting laying the highlights down last -- “alla prima”
Recovered: 3% (though plein air is continuous genre)
This series began with a challenge from an art supplier who was touting the purity of pigment in his product. He handed me a tube of Dioxazine Purple and said it was 100% pigment and oil with no fillers and that I should try it out. I did and was taken in by its wide range from transparent to almost black. I had been working on large figurative drawings and a blizzard had just set in. Also, at the time I had been greatly fascinated by wolves. The couple here both have a posture of two wolves greeting one another.