It's funny, I've been developing this sitting buddha motif for a while. I sit down to draw, and that's all I know how to draw. I start to paint, and another sitting buddha emerges. I suppose I should embrace it as my style, not try to wrestle it into something else.
Trying to remember when this all started, it occurred to me that one of my first paintings I ever made had this idea at its core. I was sixteen years old, and saw a flyer for an art gallery opening in Syracuse, New York. The gallery was called Caffeinated Love, curated by a guy named Ty Marshall. The flyer was an open call for submissions; apparently they had walls to fill, and needed local art.
I was in high school, had never seriously painted anything on my own, but nonetheless felt the ambition to try it. I had accumulated some sketchbooks, doodling in class, trying to put lines on paper that would somehow correlate to what I felt inside. I brought my sketchbooks to the gallery and showed them to Ty Marshall. He picked out a few pieces that he thought were cool, and told me to get some paintings together.
My very first paintings were exhibited at Caffeinated Love on opening night. I was in with a mix of artists from the area. How exciting for a teenager struggling to touch the "bigger world."
Some of those Syracuse artists still inspire me.
That was 1999. Even now, I still struggle to refine my pieces. I chose to forgo art school, in favor of learning Chinese Medicine. I actually think that was the best choice possible for the integrity and content of my artwork, but honestly, I haven't been painting as much as I'd like to, as much as I really should.
Those of you that know me well have seen this painting hanging on my walls for about ten years:
I'd like to think I've come a long way since then, hopefully without losing the innocence and experimentalism of the self-taught youth..