Be True to Yourself (And Don't Follow the Art World Fads)

Be True to Yourself

A friend of mine died recently and he had a profound impact on my life. James Howard Fox (Jim) was the most amazing architect that I ever met or had the opportunity to work for. Jim's ability to see and develop 3 dimensional space was like nothing I have ever seen. He was also a master of developing renderings of his designs that captured the look and feel of the finished product and it's environment. Jim had the unique opportunity to do the thing he loved to do the way he wanted to do it. He knew what his voice was in this world and refined it for more than 50 years creating an incredibly consistent body of work. He was true to himself.

I learned volumes of information and lessons from Jim over about 35 years of friendship, but the most important was to Be True to Yourself. Jim showed me how to do this through his life and his work. Jim never got distracted by the frequent fads in the architecture world. He listened to his voice within and charted his own unique path in this world.

As artists this is what we hope to do. Listen to, and develop our unique voice to create a consistent body of work over the course of our careers. This is a hard thing to do. It's hard to find the voice. It's hard to listen to the voice when there are so many distractions and fads along our path.

The most rampant new distraction is poured acrylic paint. Paintings done in this way are everywhere and it seems everyone is participating. I see my students doing it online, I see my artist friends doing it and it makes me sad. It makes me sad because I know that each of these people has been given a unique voice, a unique gift that is for them alone. That voice is calling inside them but they don't listen. They are more interested in doing the newest, easiest thing rather than doing the hard work of developing a consistent body of work.

The world doesn't need another poured acrylic painting, but the world does need the voices of artists who have something to say. There is only one YOU. There is only ONE voice that is uniquely YOURS and the world wants to hear it. So what is it that you are going to say?


If you'd like to learn to find your voice and begin to develop it, check out my list of upcoming workshops: (You can view a list of 2018 workshops HERE)

As always, thanks so much for your support! 


P.S. If you cannot attend a live event, or prefer to learn online in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online workshop:

Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop. You can learn more about the program by Clicking HERE.