What Does My Art Mean?


Marin Headlands: Charcoal on Paper, 18 x 24

It doesn’t mean anything. It’s not a political platform. There is no message or social commentary. I’m not trying to provoke anyone’s thinking process or make a statement. It is simply a form of reflection and play. Serious play.

I write for a living so visual activities are the way I relax. It’s like meditation or a form of focused attention for me. There is no inner dialog when I am painting. Simply observations and actions. I don’t use words in my head to mix paints. I see and mix. I pick up colors and put them down. Sometimes I mix paints on the palette, other times I mix them on the canvas or paper. I don’t even worry too much about whether it is the “right” color or the “right” line, because when I am in it, I just want to keep playing with the experience. Which is both good and bad when you are in flow and probably explains why my art can be so hit or miss.

Every time I start a new drawing or painting it begins with the same question: I wonder if I can capture that? My goal is always to make a really good painting, and by good I mean that I like it. But I have lots of failed paintings, and I accept that as part of the process. In fact I have closets full of unfinished and unsatisfactory paintings. For every good painting there are probably five or more failed paintings. But I keep painting because it is fun, and it is a challenge and because I love to play.

— DJ