In April 2007 a tall, lanky fellow entered my studio near the end of an exhibition party. He was an interesting sort. During our conversation I asked if he would consider sitting for me. He readily agreed. This was the beginning of our weekly sessions. We each brought our skills and a desire to do something interesting. Little did we know.....a collaboration had begun.
Typically, Fred Nemo shows up with something to read. I begin drawing or painting where and how he is. Then I might suggest something. Discussions may arise or Fred reads something of interest. Eventually I become less interested in a physical likeness and more interested in the character and spirit of the moment.
Fred's willingness to show up, to participate and be with whatever comes up during this process allows the freedom necessary to truly explore. To me, this is vital. Fred has a steady sense of self, a confidence if you will, to do this.
After about 3 years of focus on Fred's head and face, I began to include his body, gesture and clothing. Environments began appearing. This changed things for me in a surprising way. The paintings seemed more personal and certainly more engaging. They are of the world. Sometimes his hands tell the story, sometimes his shoes or gloves, The work feels more complete. I WORK LARGER.
I feel immense gratitude for being able to participate in this experience called art and to my friend Fred Nemo for allowing, then becoming wholly engaged in this ongoing process.