When asked how I chose a career in art, I suppose I must
give credit to Ms. Clymer. An encouraging family member? An inspiring
art instructor? No; rather, she was the Spanish teacher who banished
me from her class after two weeks, forcing me to fill those hours with
instruction in either industrial arts or fine art. My mother was an artist
in her own right, a former window-dresser and weaving instructor at the
Devereaux Foundation, and had always provided opportunity and materials
for me to follow my early interest in drawing and painting. Consequently,
it seemed only logical to choose fine art, and from that point on spent
as many hours as allowed in art class. I actually became the youngest
art major in my school, and used the time to prepare a portfolio for
application to college as an art major.
My high school art instructor played a major role in my
decision to pursue a degree in art education. Looking at my career options,
I considered commercial art, professional artist, medical illustration,
and teaching. While medical illustration appealed to me, the years of
formal schooling were daunting. I had never enjoyed lettering or layout
work, so advertising did not intrigue me. Seeking a living by solely
producing fine art would have been satisfying, but my father had always
encouraged me to have a dependable source of income. In teaching, I felt
that I could allay my father's concerns while allowing me to pursue my
passion to create art for its' own sake.
After earning my degree from Kutztown State College (now
Kutztown University), I began teaching in upstate New York. Not a lover
of cold weather, when an opportunity to teach on St. Thomas in the U.S.V.I.
presented itself, I packed my bags for the Caribbean. This proved to
be one of the most influential choices in my life, as I became fascinated
with island life and themes. Returning from the islands, I was able to
meet an orthopedist from Temple University and convinced him that despite
my lack of medical training, I could produce quality medical illustration.
Thus, I began the next phase of my life in art, eventually becoming head
of the Educational Communication Department at the Philadelphia College
of Osteopathic Medicine. The precise and restrained style required in
this discipline added another facet to my personal style.
years as an illustrator, I married and moved to Lancaster. Before leaving
for the islands, much of my work had been influenced by the Cubists;
while in St. Thomas, I had begun to get a sense of the livelier style
I wanted to develop, but needed to work in a controlled and tight manner.
I knew that to be able to create paintings with a free and expressive
feeling, I would need to get back into the classroom. Enrolling in a
painting class at Milllersville University, I was privileged to be taught
by Dr. Sheba Sharrow, one of the most talented and influential professors
I have ever known.
While beginning the painful transition back to painting,
I opened an art store and gallery where I showcased student work. I hoped
to give students not only the opportunity to show their work, but also
to learn something of the business of art. I needed to move the store
three times, and with the third move, had no room for the gallery aspect
of the enterprise. By now, my enjoyment in retail was waning, and I wanted
more time to produce art.
Hence, I came full circle. I returned to the classroom
as a substitute teacher, giving me the flexibility to spend more time
in my studio. Repeated trips to the Caribbean, the American Southwest,
and New Orleans and visits to various museum shows, and galleries have
all contributed to my current style. I prefer to paint people, caught
in a moment of time, engaging the viewer to share that moment. While
I have striven to develop an active and lively brushstroke, my years
as an illustrator can still be found in my architectural renderings and
attention to detail.
I believe that I have come a long way from the thirteen
year old who sold his first oil painting, a stick on the ground, for
$13.22. But an artist cannot afford to be too comfortable. Although my
preferred medium is oils, I have been experimenting in other media such
as collage and monotype printing. As I gain experience in these and continue
to meet and study other artists, I hope that my own work will continue
to evolve and reflect my growth as an artist.
Many thanks to Russ of ZoomHome.com for
the high quality photography of my work seen here on my web site.
you to buddymaynard.com for
the Web design and production.