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Fostering an appreciation for art became an intense desire for me during the 1960's 'Age of Aquarius' movement. I wanted to be a hippy and join in on the fun. It was a new generation, a new set of ideals, and The Beatles were coming to America. What more could a teenager ask for! All I wanted in life was to grow my hair long, dye it blonde, and paint flowers on my face. THAT was the ultimate groove for me. I had just missed the Beatnik era, (although I would have loved sitting in a smoke filled underground bar wearing a beret, freaking out at some wild pop art, and once in a while going 'wow man'). So with that in mind, I roared into the Love Generation while sitting 2 feet away from our black and white television watching The Beatles slam into America on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Well, I don't paint flowers on my face anymore...instead I use watercolor, art brushes, paints - and most importantly, paper. And instead of sitting in smoke filled groovy underground bars, I now have a studio and allow my art to consume my life...living the dream every artist loves.
My culture, the Eskimo, flows from my heart and soul through my brush. Who is the Eskimo? The Eskimo is a gentle culture and the awareness of who they are seems to be vague and uncertain in today's world. Simply put, it is considered a minority group. Yet, I feel everyone on the face of God's green Earth is a minority. After all, we all struggle with personal identity...needing to be heard, needing to get ahead of the other guy...but hopefully, we are all here to make a difference for the good of mankind. As an elder in my culture, my desire to share who the Eskimo is, touches a personal 'Cause' in me. My desire is to speak to the children of the Eskimo, and to reinforce the love and pride of who they are in this world. Art has created a beautiful source of awareness in the Eskimo life, not only for this generation, but for their future. What an amazing feeling to see art entering a new degree of awareness in the Eskimo culture. I believe the reason I love Sumi art, and thrive to conquer my best with the ink and rice paper, is because of the similarities of the Asian culture vs the Eskimo culture. Also, having lived in Japan has helped me fall in love with it's culture. (PS: An insider's secret...Eskimo's do not live in igloos, but are known to build ice shelters when caught in snow storms).