Over the past 30 years I've learned a lot from producing features and documentaries for public television. That is, telling stories through moving pictures.
In television and film we play with composition, color and lots of other tools that painters use to create mood and evoke feelings. But there is a difference. Because in the world of motion pictures each scene is defined in large part by the images that precede and follow it.
So now I am drawn to telling stories through single, stationary images rather than series of flickering pictures. Images in paint on paper invite you to enter and visit for as long as you like and engage you to imagine what came before - or what will come next.
I think that's an important role for art - to help us deal with the immensity of "reality". Television compresses reality into neat packages with beginnings, middles and ends, tied up with a bow and delivered directly to your home. Good producers can make you laugh or cry within seconds by employing the tools of their trade.
Painters can do the same by capturing the essence of a sunset, the light in a forest, or the soul behind a face with a different set of tools and techniques. They open windows to how moments in time feel - and show us ways to see the world as we've never seen it before.
I've had the opportunity over the past several years to create several documentaries exploring the natural beauty of Missouri. Projects like "The Katy", "Heartland", "Where the Rivers Run", and "Wish You Were Here" took me to every corner of the state, through river country and prairie land, Ozark hills and bottomland. Having grown up in St. Louis, I was impressed by the beauty and diversity of the land and inspired to capture how experiencing it felt - through paint.
I have also had the honor of meeting many other regional artists with enormous experience and talent, who were willing to share their passion and their insights. For several years I produced a weekly program for KETC called "Arts America" - a collaboration with 30 other PBS stations, featuring painters, sculptors, musicians, writers and dancers from St. Louis and around the country. For me it was an extraordinary learning experience.
You can watch over a hundred of those programs by clicking HERE.
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