Why I Paint

We don’t make movies to make more money. We make more money to make more movies.

– Walt Disney

Let’s be honest: I paint to make money.

But that’s the least of it.

I paint better to see the world because, as Wittgenstein said, “the world is all that is the case.” My days in it are numbered; I don’t want to miss out, in the time that remains. The world still has a lot to tell me.

I paint better to understand painting. I’ve looked avidly at art since childhood, but didn’t really comprehend it. Since picking up a brush, I’ve discovered through practice and the guidance of great teachers that painting is all about geometry, value, contrast, and the fluidity of the marks you make on your canvas.

I paint to add a some beauty to the world. I’ve already added 1,500 tons of carbon to the planet; I want at least a little of my byproduct to be pretty.

I paint to delight collectors. Not a thousand of them; not even a hundred. Maybe twenty, thirty or forty. That would do nicely!

I paint to make money. Art supplies are expensive. I paint because I want and need to paint, and because I want to make enough money to pay for supplies. That way, I can keep painting—and with luck get better at it.

Postscript: A hat tip is due to my three best teachers, Milena Spasic, John Murray and Randall Graham. Thanks go as well to John Gnagy and The Wandress.

Above: Two Pears. Oil on canvas. 16 x 12 inches. Ships framed and ready to hang.