When I Was Six


I have been fortunate in that I have been able to keep my eyes as they were when I was six. When I was six it was okay to be a child, to wander away from grown-ups and discover things. Mom and Dad were always so interested in the things I had discovered while wandering off into the wilds. They knew so little, it was my job to tell them things. Things that were important, like Uncle Melvin having a huge cow chained up in the barn with a ring in its nose. Dragging my dad out to uncle Melvin's barn to show him the huge white owls living up in the hayloft. Then there was the little brown owl living with the calves in Uncle Henry's barn.  

Today I am still exploring the world through the eyes of a six-year-old. Even drawing a nude, it's with the eyes of the six-year-old. I have the skills of a master artist, if I do say so myself, but the eyes are still that of a child. The other day I did a painting of an African Violet. What I really saw was Jordan's face as she removed the paper the flower shop wrapped it in. She had the look on her face my mom always had when she added to her collection of African Violets. As a child I saw the joy in mom's face when she was around her plants, but my mind was on getting my collection of toy cowboys out and building a stick coral under the lilac bush, holding off the rustlers with my band of cowboys. Mom would be hanging the wash up, checking for clouds and pausing to admire the array of flowers she had in bloom. Many of my farm house paintings have white sheets waving in the  wind somewhere in the painting.

Painting is my way of visiting my childhood and sharing it with people who have similar memories. I think of a collector pausing before one of my paintings on their way out and remembering a moment from their childhood, and slowing down to smell their roses, or African Violets.