My career was in a creative industry, but I’ve never felt as inventive as when I’m painting in the field, especially at sanctuaries in Africa, where resources can be scarce. I paint anywhere and on anything the sanctuaries need me to. I’ve had guards watching over me, as well as monkeys, gorillas, chimps, civets, sloths, wart hogs, cats, villagers and children. I’ve had numerous animals sleeping on my body while I paint, and waggled slingshots to deter thieving baboons. I have painted on abandoned refrigerators, car bumpers, rusty cage doors, windows, shipping containers, tin cans and electrical cabinets. Easels and palettes have been up-ended wheelbarrows, pizza lids, stumps, archery targets and trap cages.
ITINERANT “STUDIO” ARTIST
It’s not only in Africa that I come up with ad hoc solutions for painting venues. I stay in various places, often as the guest of kind friends. It takes a dose of logistical creativity to maneuver my large paintings. Carting a 5-foot long stretched canvas and a gallon of gesso on New York City subways ensures I don’t have to pay for gym membership!
It’s also why I use liquid acrylic paint. It’s non-toxic, odor-free and dries fast! And unlike oil paint, it behaves more like what I first used as a bush artist in the jungle – exterior house paint and roofing paint, the only things available.