Glen has been a self-taught artist his whole life even though he made money as a master cabinetmaker for 30 years.
In his 30’s and 40’s he had several one-man shows of his large canvases, but now he works in small watercolors and pottery/sculpture and mostly shares/sells his work online.
Carrie: When did you discover your love of the arts?
As a young child, art class was the most fun, as a teenager, it became a coping tool and at the same time, I discovered art history. At 14-15 years old, I would ride my bike to the library and check out piles of books, week after week, working through the history of art and all the artists. I loved all of it.
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
In my 20’s and 30’s I painted large abstract canvases, then I found my way into painting figures and smaller watercolors and drawings. And within the last 5 years, I have found pottery. I can’t imagine working in one medium or one style my whole life, just like I can’t imagine being the same person my whole life. I’m okay with evolving and changing my work to express my current personal journey.
Carrie: What does your workspace look like?
I work in a community arts center with an open pottery studio. I work at home, wherever, on smaller pieces.
Carrie: How do you take risk in your art?
The risk would be in not creating art.
Carrie: I’d love to hear more about your art where you incorporate “non-traditional” materials into your ceramic works. Tell us all about it!
Rules, it’s about not accepting other people’s rules and boundaries. If I have a life problem I don’t just look at all the “cliche” answers, I might try looking at a problem has an architect or baker or scientist or poet or child would see it. It’s very freeing.
And it’s also about “play”, the importance of “play”. I learned a lot by watching my children play.
Carrie: What strategies do you use to help yourself when you feel “stuck?”
I read once that Truman Capote put himself in a bare little room with a desk, chair, and typewriter and sat there until he started typing. No distraction, just patience. That works for me.
Carrie: How has your life and its assorted circumstances influenced your art?
Early on I painted very calm canvases when my life was most chaotic, and the opposite: violent emotional work when life was calm. I think I was problem-solving inside my head/heart. Now my work seems more reflective. I try so hard to express and accept life’s lessons, it’s a real struggle.
Carrie: What is one piece of advice you have for struggling creatives?
Accept who you are and work at it. For “creatives,” not expressing yourself is like holding your breath. You cut off important stuff your heart and brain needs.
Career advice: try not to confuse money and creating.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
I work to find MY answers to the dilemma of being alive. It’s hard to be a person.
The Bible is not my owner’s manual; I’m creating my own manual for making sense of the human experience. I share my work; if it helps someone then my pain is not wasted. But mostly art is my medication, I don’t need inspiration.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Screaming, crying, problem-solving, amusement, magic, nutrition, medication.
Be Creatively Courageous: Do you give yourself permission to have evolving style and voice in your work? Share with us one of those transitions of style and voice.
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