On June 15th, after a couple of days unwinding from the 2015/2016 academic year, I decided to do an acrylic painting to warm up for the summer. I do not typically work in acrylic, so I did not expect anything of note to come of it (a well established cliche of the artist breakthrough narrative). I decided to paint a portrait of my lovely wife Lauren Enjeti from a photo I had taken a few days earlier in Newport.
I can't describe what happened, but something clicked and I found myself completely enthralled by the process of painting the portrait. It was the first time I have ever truly felt like I was making my work, and I do not say that lightly. It was a watershed moment and I am at a loss as to how or why it happened (though I have a feeling it had something to do with 40 years of hard work of every kind I am capable of).
When the painting was completed, I did not know where it came from. I loved the process and the subject (of course), but I wondered if it was a fluke. So I decided to try working larger and I chose another subject, actor Woodrow Wilson Woolwine "Woody" Strode.
I had never done any serious work in acrylic on canvas or of portraits before June 15th 2016, and by the end of the summer I had a show of an entire body of work I had only started making on that day.
It has been a remarkable year for me as an artist and I feel the strongest connection to my work that I have ever known. I look forward to making many more paintings in the coming year and sharing them here on my online journal and on my new website.