A lot of Artists can point to the moment in their childhood when the muse first came to call; a single source of inspiration that would spark their creativity. For some it was a memorable visit to the local gallery. For others it was a word of encouragement from a grade school art teacher. For me, it was a veg-o-matic. Like any TV-watching ten-tear-old, I knew the commercial by heart: “It slices , It dices. . .” And I knew it would invariably be followed by another familiar ad, for Earl Scheib, the car painter: “Any car, any color, $19.95.” But on one particular evening in the Los Angeles suburb of Westchester, Earl took the night off. As the Veg-o-matic spot ended, I heard a new voice inviting me to own “100 of the World’s Most Beautiful Paintings,” from Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Gainsborough’s Blue Boy. All of them in luxurious color, and all in one spectacular book and priced even less than an Earl Shibe paint job. I’m not sure why, but I had to have one! And that Christmas, Santa Claus brought it. I remember turning through the pages carefully, trying to decide which painting was my favorite. The one that seemed most intriguing to me was Edward Hopper’s “7:00 A.M.” At the time, I couldn’t say what made it special. But in later years, I came to realize it was the paintings quality of light.
Over the years in my studies at Art Center College of Design, and in museums of the world, I have drawn great inspiration from artists such as Bellini, Titian, Carravaggio,
Velasquez, Chardin, Corot, Pissarro and countless others. They have all informed me of the physical and emotional qualities of light. In each project I am involved with, I try to invest my paintings with a specific sense of light to establish form, describe space, and evoke emotion. I feel as did Walt Whitman,”To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.” Struggling to express and translate these miracles into paintings is one of the great continuing adventures of my life. And to think it all started with a late night T.V.commercial. I still have the book, but I never did get a veg-o-matic!