In 2018, the world lost a great artist
and I lost my friend.
A true creative genius..
Steve Gompf was one of the most wildly imaginative
and passionate artists I have ever known..
and he taught me the true meaning
of constructive criticism.
When we shared a gallery years ago
my work had become very gray.
Soft tones and faded colors..
I was struggling with my palette
and I had lost my way.
It was Steve who brought me back.
playful and engaging..
Steve was also as blunt as a sledgehammer.
He marched up to my work
and held an Oreo cookie against a “dark” area
in one of my paintings..
“That’s not dark!” he exclaimed,
“THIS is dark.”
I was floored.
He was absolutely right.
After this artistic epiphany
my work improved dramatically.
When Steve asked me to paint his portrait
I had no words..
but I was thrilled at the opportunity
to pour out my love and gratitude
in a way we would both understand.
Life got busy.
but I let it pull me from my easel
for too long.
That was a mistake.
Suffice it to say
I was no longer myself..
I had become
an unbalanced load of laundry.
So, I ran to my neglected painting
to set things right
and threw myself into it
with wild abandon
into the glorious embrace
of God’s gift.
When I first started painting
I had no idea what I was doing..
but that didn’t matter.
All I needed
was the unshakable
My sister asked me to make a painting
to hang in her dollhouse.
So I did.
With squinting eyes,
I leaned in close
and poured my soul onto that tiny canvas.
Is it a waste of time to put so much of myself
into a 2″ x 2″ square?
Art is all or nothing.
If you look at a photograph of me
you see the face I wear,
the body I walk around in
and a few items of clothing;
unlike my paintings..
which show you what I look like
on the inside.
No one rolls out of bed one day
and decides to be an artist..
you were meant to be one.
Even if you don’t answer the call for many years
it has always been there