About The Private Diary

Everything was said with extreme caution…and then complete silence.

When I turned the corner that quiet Sunday morning, all I saw was the soul of Edward Hopper and the lonesome Alabama man.

He moved with evident uncertainty, looking for all the world like a colorful giraffe against the blue sky.

Beneath scarlet leaves, she celebrated the venerable structure, sailing the seas of her cherished imagination.

I saw him only once during my week in Rome—the hypnotist, I mean—and then only briefly in the shadows of his doorway.

Whispers float like ashes on a sea of pain, while somewhere in Alabama the pale horse runs.

It may come as a surprise to some, a disappointment even, to learn there is no worn diary atop one of my studio shelves; no single, weathered book in which I’ve dutifully registered a commentary on the pages of my life. The Private Diary is a body of visual works completed during the past forty-two years (1970- 2012), most of which incorporate written components of some kind. Put simply, it is a blend of visual and written content that has allowed me to fashion a meaningful dialogue with self, a way of processing a host of experiences, thoughts, and feelings that have come with my life’s journey.

I was approached by Deborah Bradshaw of Dancingfish Press in August of 2004 with the invitation to consider the possibility of a book on my Diary pictures. From that casual lunch with our mutual friend Gretchen Martin, nearly fifteen months have been spent photographing works and writing a manuscript. The book was released in the summer of 2006. The sampling of works shown here comes from this thirty-five year odyssey, many of which could not be shown without the gracious cooperation of collectors.

Stephen Doherty, Managing Editor of American Artist magazine, wrote of my work in a 1995 article for the publication, “The process by which he expresses these feelings and experiences resembles the way a writer establishes the plot of a novel. He imagines all the elements of a richly detailed story – characters, costumes, and furnishings – and then creates mental pictures of the action taking place at critical moments in the story.”

In the greater scheme of things, my Diary pictures may be little more than a string of footprints in the evening sand. They simply bear witness to my presence on this earth, fleeting and transitory as it is. By morning, a pristine beach will await the next traveler’s feet. But this I do know about my creative journey: the privilege of being able to enjoy and experience my life is first and foremost a blessing from God, for which I am thankful every single day. At seventy-nine years of age, I want to believe I have pictures and stories ahead of me, but if my tide comes in tomorrow I’ll have few grounds for complaints.