Recently I’ve been doing a lot of lectures about art. I was even asked to give a PowerPoint talk about my own work. It forced me to think about the influences that led me in the direction of whimsical art. So I’ve been revisiting the English eccentric painters like Rowland Emett, Heath Robinson and Arthur Rackham, and American illustrators like Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Nast, and N.C. Wyeth.
Of course, it’s humbling to look at talent like that, but at least it reassures me again that joy and humor have a place in art.
My paintings are like little movies, and in the best of them you have a sense that there is something amusing or intriguing going on. You may not be sure what it is, but that’s by design. I want you to have room to wonder, and to supply your own narrative. Maybe as you do, you’ll sense the pleasure I had seeing those wonderful story books for the first time—in the warm, moving light of the fireplace.