PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS, DEMOS, STUDIES and EXPERIMENTAL WORK
Since I have a few dozen styles, I was always busy as an illustrator, designer and comp artist. I worked quickly in several mediums and often did all-nighters or 3-4 day straight stints to meet deadlines. If I had free time in between jobs, I painted and went to life drawing sessions, hiked, biked, and traveled. Illustration is great training but it can also tighten up my painting style, so I am always pushing myself to work with a loose linear stroke and experiment, basically to improve.
Of the over 4,000 jobs I did, most were advertising, corporate and editorial pieces. I worked for most of the NY publishers doing book or magazine covers, history and religious spreads, and more recently game design, illustration and concept work.
My fine art, meaning the painting I do for myself, not for clients, is mostly spiritual in content, cerebral, often narrative. I've delved into abstract and currently impressionism, or pointalism, but always seem to turn back to a classic realist style. Technique isn't as important to me as design, but it helps to know how to paint so that I can approach an idea with the intention of fully rendering it on canvas or panel. Illustration taught me a lot of things, but mostly it gave me confidence.
To see a small sampling of some of my commercial work, I will add a page. I am now semi-retired, taking on fewer jobs, with the hope that illustration will regain its former status of quality imagery that proves to be viable solutions, attracting readers or showcaseing imaginative ideas.
I've taught painting, drawing, and digital classes and lectured at various colleges in the Pacific Northwest, including the Art Institute, Bellevue College, and Edmonds College. Currently, I have a number of teen and adult private students that I teach out of my home/studio, which is fun and gives me the chance to show talented people some of the many techniques I picked up over the years.
I wish I had good instruction when I was first starting out. Nearly every technique I picked up over the years was on my own. Teaching is a way of giving back and can be very rewarding, sharing whatever knowledge I have. From young students with talent who are frustrated they are not being taught any art in school, to adults who put off their former passion to raise families or take on careers, teaching brings out the best in any student who has hidden talent or is simply curious to see how far they can take it. I'm lucky to be a small part of their artistic progress.
I'm lucky to know a number of very good oil painters who seem to hold the same philosophy as I do about current and past trends in art. Do a little research and you will find that the art schools are not really capable of teaching traditional techniques because most of the staff, even at the big name colleges, simply don't have experience to pass on what the students really should be learning. Over the past few years at least a dozen graduates visited me complaining they wasted their education basically learning nothing at whatever art school they attended.
If you want a good education, do your homework before you sign on, check out the various instructors to find at least one or two who can actually teach you drawing and painting. The system is set up to hire those who have the least experience but got a teaching degree. What they should do is hire the most experienced artists who have been working professionally for years. This is a state mandate that simply doesn't make sense. Graduates end up with little real-world knowledge, sad portfolios, frustrated, and broke. Save your money, learn on your own or with a mentor, and simply draw and paint every day. Produce the best work you can. Study past masters whose work you like, disregard contemporary well-known artists who have no real talent except to promote themselves, and above all don't fall into the trap of providing galleries work simply to make money. You might think you're successful, but that road is not a happy one. If you plan to do illustration work, then separate it completely from your fine art. And always try to make the next piece your best.