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Photos by John Bernhard

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“After the military, I was able to go to college on the GI Bill,” he said. “I entered as an architectural student but couldn’t draw, but I learned to draw enough.” He still works as an architect doing as he describes, “the work that other architects don’t want to do.” It does however help to pay the bills. His days are now filled as they have been for decades as a painter. His work is definite with a single thread running through all his work. Using only primary colors they are bright, big and bold. They stand stacked in multiples lining the walls of the room. He estimates that he has painted over 700 paintings in that same style, facades of exteriors of European towns centered on plazas of all kinds. There are places in all of Europe and the world where people gather and have always gathered in central little locations, among towns where people go to visit with friends, talk about what’s going on, drink coffee and eat pastries. “We don’t have that in the U.S.,” he said. “We live in large spread out cities and we lose that intimacy. As a child, I remember gathering in one of these places in the town, and people would sell goods and animals,

shoed horses and other things, and then in the afternoon when the market leaves, we would go there and play soccer.” These good memories are represented in his paintings expressing the genuine touching feelings he has when painting his canvasses. They all are filled with the facades of buildings that all congregate in rows around a center space. Some have birds in them, a few with tiny representations of people, but all encompass a middle space that is open longing for tables and chairs of citizens just congregating for human contact. “These squares are a place to walk and create a reference place,” he said. “They are the same now, no more markets just restaurants and bars, but they are the same, a place to gossip and visit and be connected. With the Internet we have lost some of that.” Although his paintings do not contain people, they somehow express a strong sense of humanity much like the painter himself. “People often say art is in the eyes of the beholder, I say that’s bullshit. Art is about expressing what is in you, it is something you feel you have to do and you don’t know why. I write everything down, ideas I have, and I keep them in a file. You have to paint what is inside you and keep doing it until it feels right. I don’t always know why I have gone down a path and that is OK. I only know I have to do it. That is who I am.”

Profile for ArtHouston Magazine

Arthoustonmagazine  

Issue #1

Arthoustonmagazine  

Issue #1

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