As with anything worth while the hurdles and dead ends have been numerous. This is the inherent challenge of being self taught. The beginning of the story of Josh as an artist should focus on the raw materials; a sense of wonder, playfulness, and an inquisitive nature. A boy completely immersed in drawing. With its meditative and insightful qualities creating art was a severe addiction that continues today in his dedication in refining his skills as a painter. The focus of his upbringing was integrity, hard work, and individuality. Creating murals and scenic art for film and theme parks led him to New Orleans where Josh sold paintings on Royal Street to people from all over the world. Stormy weather inspired an empty pocket trip cross country and was instrumental in his exposure to the beauty of the southwest and California. In addition to painting, he loves his garden and can often be found afloat on the ocean.
We live in a time of extreme and accelerated change, growing complexity, and eye-crossing precision. I often wonder, to quote David Byrne, “How did I get here?” Origin stories abound. Painting is how I learned to learn and that road continues to stretch out before me. My life’s pleasure has been in the building and refining of beautiful little thinking tools and using them to puzzle over all the narratives and exercises in storytelling that we accept as children and how they shape us through the different phases of life. My countless hours sitting with canvases have afforded me this luxury since early adulthood with, what I feel are, exponential returns. My nagging curiosity and wonder have led me to a the wellspring of weirdness that is a world falling through the unimaginably vast expanses of space and into greater context with each and every tiny discovery. I know it can all look so flat when you look at the map, but to dirty your hands in examining the earth and stones beneath you and place them in their context you see the terrein and understand it better. It seems to me that with more contextual learning we all might understand each other a little better as well as the world around us. It’s a greater effort though. It so much easier to simply be the hero in your own film, essential to the main plot and forever waiting for that conclusion place to role credits. (Spoiler alert, it never comes.) This seems rather primitive to me in the face of this beautifully interwoven world we are all a part of. I regard it as a Super Hero Syndrome, rendering curiosity and vulnerability useless. This is not to completely throw storytelling under the bus. I have collected old people and their stories all my life. But a story is not to be confused with the terrein. Anyhow….. these are some of the things I muse over as I make my work. The slippery nature of identity, our storytelling minds, emotional wellbeing in a thoughtless world, geologic time, and the cultivation of meaningful relationships. are just a few topics I’m learning about. To be a human is such a beautiful opportunity. I hope to honor it with the bit of time I’m given and to pass what i can on for the use of others. My artwork is both the cause and the result of this way of thinking. I hope you enjoy it and that it might reflect on some shiny spot in your own complex human experience.
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