"My art is my own and belongs to no one. My art is for me... and for everyone." -Robert Deem
Sometime between the ages of 9 and 10 art happened in me. In fourth grade, a picture I had painted of three quail was framed and hung in the school library. I haven’t seen it since. In eighth grade, I was the art teacher’s pet. When I told her I was moving away she said, “Why do the good ones go?” The day we left, I was still putting the finishing touches on a painting of a buoy I had been working on in her class. There was no room in the car for it so it was left behind.
In high school, my classmates voted me “Most Artistic”. I sold my first commissioned portrait at age fifteen and in fact sold or gave away just about all of the art I had ever done. When I applied to attend Philadelphia College of Art in 1979 I was turned down because there wasn’t enough material in my portfolio.
Drawing and painting became synonymous with loss. It seemed as though once I brought a picture to life, it would end up someplace else and become a fading memory so I stopped painting and drawing.
Since then, technologies have advanced to the point where duplicating, publishing and sharing artwork have become both instantaneous and inexpensive while maintaining a high standard of quality. When I took note of this, I started drawing and painting again knowing that I would never part with another work.
A gallery owner once told me, "Paint what you love and not what you think people will buy and they will be drawn to your work." Since then I have tried to follow his advice. At the same time I realized that what attracts me to other artists' work is the love and care that I see in it.
I live and paint in Pfafftown, North Carolina and in Windsor, California spending about half the year in each. I do portraiture, pen and ink, digital art, but mostly oil on canvas.