As I write this here in January of 2015, on the cusp of my big project, I wanted to update you, the eager viewers, readers, paranormal-enthusiasts on how this all came about, because it didn’t just start with a grant. It all started back in 2008, with my “friends” Dave Schrader and Tim Dennis….
Being a visual artist is, for many of us, a lonely business. Holed up in some dark basement or studio, wrestling with that inner vision and it’s tangible evidence on the canvas… Just to break the monotony of my work (and life) at that point I started looking through these new-fangled “podcasts” everyone was talking about and quickly discovered a plethora of ‘paranormal’ choices, a subject I had long been interested in. Listening to these new podcasts threw me back to my Grandmother’s house in the early 90’s and hearing Art Bell’s Coast to Coast AM for the first time. (My Grandmother had had her own sighting of a UFO over Beaver Lake in St. Paul years before.)
I quickly settled on listening religiously to Darkness Radio. Dave Schrader and Tim Dennis host the nightly talk show on KTLK in Minnesota. (www.darknessradio.com). As I painted alone during the days, Dave and Tim kept me company. As they talked about UFO’s, Ghosts, and Bigfoots, I came to feel like they were my actual friends, joking around and talking about those subjects I loved (I would be lucky enough to meet Dave and Tim and call them my ‘real’ friends in 2014). Soon tiny Bigfoots, blurry UFO’s, and other anomalies were showing up in my traditional landscape paintings. They slowly got bigger and bigger and one Masters of Fine Art Program later, they now dominate my artwork.
Never having any kind of paranormal experience of my own, my imagination played out these would-be encounters in my artwork, and I slowly started to realize the parallel paths of my art and the paranormal: looking for something transcendent in everyday life, something out of the ordinary, something to prove that the world is bigger and more interesting than the depressing news headlines on CNN or in the newspaper.
It’s fitting that the quote that drove me forward was found in a play about a ghost….
“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
– William Shakespeare