I want to make this a personal invitation to all my favorite Muddies out there: Arnie and Cathy Fenner are sponsoring my show at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, and I’d love to see you all there! I couldn’t be more happy about it, except for being a little scared!

This is the show I envisioned from my first days in this business, but I couldn’t see what the paintings would be. It was a goal set far in the back of my mind that I’d been reaching for over many years. The scary part is finally arriving at this point, turning around and saying, “this is me.” I’m actually confronting myself, and letting you in on it. The best way to do that is to accept the challenge and put it up.

So, I wanted to reach out, to mention a few things that I’ve found particularly important for you to consider about this show and about my work. I suppose I should’ve titled this post, “10 Things…About My Show!”

In my desire to become an artist, I started out exactly like you. Curious, confused, yet determined. My discussions about talent all stem from the idea that anyone and everyone has the opportunity to become a good, if not great, painter. The hard fact is, not everyone takes up that task. But there are ways to work on this.

When you see the work in the show, see it as a young person working constantly over the years to uncover his own voice. You have a voice, too. Bringing it out is the challenge. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not possible or that ‘you either have it or you don’t.’ There are countless, countless stories about people who have achieved their visions in spite of others’ lack of vision or inability to encourage. Only you have the knowledge of yourself, and it’s very difficult to explain that to anyone, let alone discover it yourself.

Mastery is built, not gifted. There is no skill you can own by trying it once. Being good at something early on is merely potential, not a resolution. My work will show that on the walls of the Society. Certainly, I’ve tried to hang my best work. Unfortunately, some of my personal favorites will not be present because they were either too far away, or lost.

Like you, this is merely one step along the path. There is so much farther to go. This show is me at this point in my career. Some of the pieces are experimental and will show a new direction I’m heading in, so let me know what you think.

See this show as perhaps a reflection of yourself. Then, take me up on the task. Not necessarily hanging at the Society, but the task I’m talking about is dedicated to finding your own voice, your own expression. You have one already!

Surely, I am not completely original. But I am authentic here. (That’s the scary part!) I’ll write more about that on Muddy as I explain the idea of copying, and stealing ideas. Mimicry. These are the methods by which we dig out ourselves.

If you’re in NYC in September or October, stop by the show. And if you happen to be there on the night of September 27th, please come to the reception! I have a quick half hour talk with some questions at the end.

If you miss the show, no worries…I’m working with a publisher on a book of my work and I’ll announce it here sometime soon!

And I bit the bullet and now have a Facebook pro page. Friend me up!

A preview of some of the paintings: