Florida 1966 - 1969
The Florida years were full of the vitality of youth. The works were spontaneous, sensuous, at times reckless, constantly changing and searching, always reaching beyond the last painting, reaching beyond myself. Yet critics described the work as "mature, serious, a sensitive artist." Only now, with 20/20 hindsight do I know they were the necessary ground work for the years to come, when I believed that maturity would come.
Of the many exhibitions or competitions the work was submitted to, I was never able to out-guess the critics, judges or the public. If I had a personal choice of a painting, I thought was strong, that choice never matched the Judges or Critics choice. Many of the paintings were ridiculed by the public, describing them as "something my child could do" or "something from a sick mind." On one occasion I saw an irate woman verbally attacking the judge for giving one of the paintings Best in Show. She was outraged that such "trash" could win any award.
At that time I believed all Art was, or should be, a universal language speaking to the affirmative. That it would always communicate. Not so and sadly . . . .
"Art hath an enemy called Ignorance."
Ben Jonson, 1599