Well, that is easy to explain – but it will take a while. One easy explanation is that I just could not stand charging the big money for my originals, so a democratic/egalitarian drive made me move to print (but that’s just a good story). Do you really want to know?
When I started with this art adventure in the fall of 2000, I started painting – and learning lots. Then a few years later I realized that I was making friends in the painting community (Ted Godwin for instance was instrumental in getting me to move to oils). But a number of times I heard the comment “you are not really a painter, are you?”. I did not really know what to make of that. Then as time went on I developed my own style, and since it is sort of an illustrative style it’s no surprise that I was getting to know some illustrators, like Ron Ellis for instance. They on the other hand did not think that I was an illustrator. That’s why, when I printed up my business card I chose “Abstractionist” as my title, because at the time I really did not know what camp I belonged to.
Then when I took part in the art competition for the 2007 Calgary Transit “Art in Motion” I suddenly realized that the reason my artwork looked so bright and bold compared to the many others out there was not because I was a better artist, (which I did like to believe (ok, ok it’s a joke)). No it was because I re-created the hand sketched artwork in the computer and it was printed out directly without the intermediate steps of painting it – lighting it, and then taking a picture of it – reproducing it in other words. Reproducing involves all kinds of losses and compromises (due to lighting, camera resolution and sensor colour range). My work was not subjected to those because of the direct path from creating it on the computer and then printing it. That is when I woke up to the power of printing, and from there it was just a small step to creating series of original prints. Limited Editions as they are called. For my digital original prints I keep with the long standing tradition of making the series small, in my case 200 per Edition. That is not just to make sure there is value for those who collect them. There is also the realization that I need to keep time aside for creating new work, I need to be careful not to become a slave to the printing machine, to make the time required to create new work! And of course these days there is a new variable, letterpress printing, taking even more time!
This sketch belongs to my “Coffee” series, and is called “Expanding the Argument”. It was one of those expansive arm motions that happened to include an espresso cup, and was over in a flash. Likely the cup was almost empty, otherwise someone would have got wet!