I never studied painting. Like so many things I do, I learned it through trial and error. I realize nowadays that formal instruction has it’s merits, but when I first picked it up as a teenager, painting was a form of escapism, and you really can’t escape while there’s a teacher peaking behind your shoulder.
Though surrealistic at times, my paintings were always figurative. I guess I wasn’t ready back then to let go of the familiar forms of art I have seen at the museum – a portrait, a landscape, a still nature, nothing more. But even those simple compositions gave me a good enough excuse to introduce wild color combinations.
During my first three years in the military, I was forced to give it up. Being creative demands a huge amount of energy, and getting home on weekends I was literally too tired to lift a brush. But then I got promoted to a different assignment, and I picked it up again. I was rusty at first, but nevertheless it felt amazing. Painting again after such a long break felt like a drink of water after a long walk in the desert.
The works themselves came out quite melancholy. Some even frightening. This was not a particularly happy time in my life, to say the least. However, the colorful essence of the art has always remained intact. Rich and luscious, mysterious and enticing, powerful color has always been a source of inspiration for me.