art and me

I’m asked every now and then what it is about art that moves me, or how did I start doing this stuff. I usually toss of something meaningless like “it’s the cool junk inside that I need to get to the outside” or other drivel but I think I need to write down, now, what the real story is…

When I was growing up my mom was a commercial artist so the tools were always around; canvases, paints, papers and pencils in every color imaginable. I was the third child in a set of four boys (two older brothers are twins so effectively I was the middle child) and I spent much of my childhood alone which, besides the obvious art supplies noted above, is the absolutely next essential ingredient to being an artist. Time. I spent hours and hours by myself, just experimenting (ha ha wasting materials mostly) as I found and perfected techniques and got comfortable with the tools. I learned much about art from my mom just by watching her and she was always very reassuring and free with positive support. I did take some classical oil painting technique classes later on but it was that time, that warm cocoon that my mother built around my fragile ego, that really set in concrete my need and desire to create art…but it wasn’t all of the reasons that I do now…

When I was about 6 or 7, my mom switched careers for a while and she became a seamstress for a burlesque house in Detroit (this was the 60’s) and her role was to “build” costumes for the dancers (they have to be able to be deconstructed over a 6-7 minute dance number without coming off completely) and that is where the “human body as art” was settled in my mind. I distinctly remember coming upstairs one morning (from the basement in our suburban Detroit tract home) and walking into a living room filled with naked burlesque dancers. Obviously the details are fuzzy but I think there were 6 or 8 nude women milling around as my mom did fittings of costumes. I was like 3 or 4 feet tall so I have just three main memories; pubic hair, the underside of (to me) massive breasts and nipples. Seeing that these women were in the show, the smallest bust size was probably 36 double D or even E or F and there’s sleepy eyed, yawning Trevor gazing upward at the glory…not to mention what else I was at eye level with.

The naked female form, that mighty and truly magnificent structural marvel, has been the one key ingredient that has always been in the back of my mind when I think of beauty, and thus art, and is what has driven me both away from and back to art. “Away from” in the sense that when I was married and the pressures of providing for a family was paramount, I had to sublimate my desires to create because I could not live both lives (artists and husband) and be successful in either. “Back to” was after I was divorced and living on my own for the first time in many years and I used art and the making of art to rekindle my love for the medium, for the subject matter…to reconnect that vital circuitry that for so long lay dormant.

And that is where I am now…creating art addictively and looking for an outlet to market it but, right now, it is a secondary pursuit as I do have a successful career in technology. Eventually I want to reverse the two and basically dabble in technology while art pays the rent…but that is a scary thing looking from this end of living 😉

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