New Works

Weapon Rendering

Weapon Rendering

When I enlisted, I heard several reactions regarding my decision because I am an artist. “But you are an artist,” someone said, “I wouldn’t picture you as a soldier.”  (As if one cannot be fierce and a creator.)  And then a past Major of the US Air Force, who was a fellow student in my Goddard Masters of Fine Arts program declared, “Very Cool.  Very proud of you for taking this on.  Frankly, the military needs more artists.”

My man simply said: “As long as you keep painting…”

A question, which I heard repeatedly, was: “How is that going to change your paintings?  Will you paint guns now?”

Well, short answer, I am.

At least today.  At least right now.

My current painting, representing the M-4 low port ready carry, is not a piece intended to contemplate current violence and the recent shootings, where people have used automatic weapons.  Nor am I painting to glorify the capabilities or power of this object (it is a man made object, after all).  However, in returning from Ft. Jackson, I reentered a world where you don’t carry a weapon at all times. And part of the reason Americans do not need to is owed to that weapon.

I am not going to address politics or US military history, but the existence of this weapon has been both a preserver of life and a force of death.  The duality exists today.  We are both fighting with these weapons and being shot at from them.

Watercolor from a photo of the Vietnam War

Watercolor (2013) from a photo of the Vietnam War

But I really just want to fucking paint my weapon; to remember, honor, and further understand the object which was a constant part of my body while in training.

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