I began my career in the visual arts in art school in Atlanta earning a degree in Interior Design. I turned out to be very good at understanding the basics in construction drawings. I understood the concepts of plans, elevations, and I could detail very, very well. I simply understood in my head how things go together. And I had the ability apparently of how to communicate that in drawings for the builders – construction documents, if you will. I began with pencil on vellum, moved up to ink on mylar, and finally had to learn AutoCAD. I was resistant to CAD because of the machine aspect. I was very proud of my drawings – they really were beautiful. And I think a well-done sheet of drawings is truly a beautiful thing.
But moving from there right into painting was a bit of a stretch. As close as I could come to painting was a few paltry renderings in design classes. It is all perspective and almost always using hard edges and straight lines. It is just a whole different approach.
And I was programmed to accuracy. It had to look like what it was. Adventurous and creative renderings were not exactly ideal in the rendering field. A play of shadows and maybe some prettily rendered flowers, those were okay. But venturing to far beyond verisimilitude was not acceptable.
So this was where I was when I begun to paint. Think about it. I really have to work it in my head to be able to give myself permission to move a tree and add a shadow that isn’t necessarily there.