THE MAGIC GARDEN
|Medium: Acrylic on Canvas|
|Dimensions: H”x W” 20×16|
ET was born in Pennsylvania in 1938. He is a gay man, and if you want to learn a little more about that part of his life, see the short video about him at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIOOVtwlU6A. He majored in mathematics and is an accomplished computer programmer. He moved to San Francisco when he was 21 and lived there most of his life working as a computer systems analyst–a job he loved. He moved to Charlotte in 2011 because California had lost the magic that it possessed way back in 1960 when he first moved there. Until the epidemic struck he spent most his time as a hospice volunteer, playing tournament bridge (he became a life master at age 80), and making art. Much of his work is informed by physics and mathematics.
Oftentimes as I work on a painting, I gaze at it and feel that something is missing. After a while I add another dab of paint. When it is the right dab a glow seems to emanate from the piece as if to say, “thank you!” It is as if it has been waiting for that fleck of color all the time. Every playwright knows the phenomenon whereby the characters in a partly-written play begin to take on a life of their own. It is the same with me. It is as if these paintings started marching around and ordering me what to do. The restrictions on artistic form frequently stimulate creativity. The greatest limitation is that art must be made out of of world-stuff––and the world is often ugly or boring. The genius of art is that we turn the dreck of the world into beauty.
I didn’t start doing art until I was 79. I started with sculpture . It is only lately that I have switched to painting–mainly because I ran out of room in my house to store my work. When I was a little kid I had a set of blocks–all perfect rectangular parallelepipeds, the 3D equivalent of rectangles. They were all the same color. There were about a hundred blocks in about eight different shapes. There were no projections, decorations, or designs on them. They were pure geometry. I loved them. What I liked about my plain featureless blocks was the infinite potential. I sensed some ultimate design hidden in these shapes in the same way that Michelangelo believed that every block of marble had a statue inside of it. I spent a lot of my childhood trying to find that ultimate design. I am still trying to find it.