Artist Statement

When I was 7 years old I really wanted to join my brother’s Tarzan Club. The initiation required new members to jump off the roof of the garage. Many of the neighborhood boys were hanging on ropes and swinging from the trees and hollering the sounds of Tarzan. And they were dressed only in short homemade loincloths. My older sister was already a member and naturally I had to keep up with her. So one day, the Tarzan club and I went up on the roof of the garage. They started to cheer me on as I was crouched looking down at the ground and trying to get up my nerve. I was scared to death. I jumped anyway and the club cheered. Now I was the youngest member. We all continued on to the Riverside park where I had to jog to keep up with them. But my ankle was hurting and hours later when I came home it was swollen.

Many years later I came to realize that I was a member again of some kind of Tarzan club when I moved to S. Florida in 1967. It was like a jungle and it wasn’t just the palm trees. It was crowded. The people in Florida were so different people than the ones I grew up with in Kansas. They seemed hardened and tough. In Florida at that time, there were drug wars, crime, and fraud. It was a struggle to get used to this new jungle. Then I decided to take a leap. But instead of climbing up to the roof of the garage, I went into the studio and I brought beauty to what I was experiencing. I didn’t just paint the colors I saw, I used the colors I felt.  I wanted to create my own fantasy.

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