influence It would be nice if you could talk about influences... A: OK. When I was a youngster, it was romantic stuff - romantic in the big sense - NC Wyeth, Howard Pyle. Later Monet & Chagall. You can see elements of each of these. But modern artists - especially Robert Rauschenberg & Richard Hamilton changed what I was doing the way that a sledge hammer changes a teacup. Interior II, a piece by Richard Hamilton in particular made me realize - again - that there were no rules. Or that the rules that I had been working by were ones that I made up - or imagined for myself.

Like the Emperor's New Clothes all over again, I suddenly saw that I had been obeying some phantom rules - all the obvious ones-
you have to paint everything
. Not true.
You can't use modern technology
. Not true.
Everything has to end up as the thing you started it to be
. There can't be words, design elements, pop culture. Nope.
You can't work on an old painting and change it competely.
Hmmm~! Wanna bet ? Watch this.

When it comes to inspiration, being amused is often more important than being moved. In the case of Art it made me start something, or finish a piece with a tip of the hat to someone like Eduardo Paolozi. I had seen Paolozi's I was a Rich Man's Plaything in the Oxford Companion to 20th Century Art, a reference book that was hanging around my studio. I did I was a Poor Man's Plaything. Years later I saw the real work, rather by accident in the Tate Gallery in London.

"being amused is more inspirational than being moved"

Interior with Circular Argument

racing a CZ400
Klamath Falls Oregon, 2007

Five Short Stories

working on a Dial Gauge

versions do you always do multiple versions? A: I don't know - well actually I do know, yes. I just don;t think about it. I start two or three versions at the same time- ya know sort of impulsively without really making a clear decision. And I get pumped up and on a roll about each new thing - and then sometimes I revisit old themes, and messwith them, and I hope with a new ferocity and an open mind.

I don't think I realized it, but there are almost no painting that don't have a sibling or two or three. Two Secrets was a single piece - although, no there were two versions, but the second one got worked to death until, there was literally nothing left but a tattered rag- dark grey- and smoking - I had fought like mad with it - and ended up sanded through the paper AND the canvas and ruined the hell out of it. I think I threw it in the fire.



Paintings from this period





© 2011 SIEGE