I discovered the power of art and painting when I was a teenager. This power wasn’t something I was looking for nor do I truly understand how or why it found me.
I spent a lot of my teenage years alone watching movies. From what I can remember, I think my movie obsession came from just trying to distract myself from my worries and to escape the boredom of a very small town.
Movies began to shape my imagination. I developed a worldview based on what I saw in movies. Looking back, it might not have been the best education, but movies did help me learn to see life from an artistic perspective.
So there I was: An angry, angst-y, lonely, depressed fifteen year old with no proper mentor or muse to guide me. Up until that point I knew nothing about art or painting.
I saw the madness and genius of Jackson Pollock portrayed in the Ed Harris film ‘Pollock’ (2000). I felt very connected to Pollock and his work. I saw the life of an artist and considered the pain and turmoil that must have consumed him. These thoughts were such a mystery to me, but I knew a change had occurred within. The abstract art of Pollock helped open up abstract thinking for me.
It was like a slow trickle of paint began to drip into my mind. A once small, dark and worried vision of life slowly grew into a widening field of color.
I bought some cheap paint and brushes. I decided to paint on cardboard since it was free canvas and I didn’t know what I was doing anyway so what the hell. I didn’t really practice or develop a style at first. I wanted to know how it felt to be with paint and experience it. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was doing art therapy.
Within a couple of years, the slow trickle of paint in my mind started to flow, mix and swirl. I loved painting abstracts, but didn’t think to go beyond using a brush until another door opened up for me.
I find that most of my art ideas come out of deep pain or sadness. I was feeling very alone and overwhelmed by some trivial circumstance when I had the impulse to paint my closet door.
I was quickly swept away by the act of art. I painted with a fury and drive that possessed me in the most pleasant way possible. I was throwing paint and using my hands to smear paint. I wasn’t just an angry kid painting, but I felt like an artist. I had found my calling and purpose.