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The past three years I found that I was not happy with where I was going, what I was doing with art. Last year I began painting with whiskey because whiskey played a large role in my family as I grew up. It wrecked my father, destroyed the marriage, and had a huge impact on me and siblings. Personally, I don't have a problem with drinking whiskey myself; I enjoy the occasional Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.

 

I try to get in local shows. The competition is stiff, with fine artists doing paintings of deer standing next to a barn or an eagle flying across a field. I'm not that kind of artist. I was told my whiskey art, especially the family paintings, are "too somber" for a gallery, as galleries are looking for upbeat art, lots of colors, abstracts, in order to make and pay the bills. I get that. Running a gallery is gutsy and a person needs to make some profit.

 

"Minneapolis" began as a silhouette of the city. I used acrylics and whiskey. I tried to get it into a show at the convention center and was denied. And I know why it was denied: it was a boring painting. I didn't like it before I tried to get it into the show and I can't blame the folks who turned it away.

 

I looked at the silhouette and in my mind I said "fuck it" and began another painting on top of the city silhouette, using colors that I like and shapes that think are important and interesting. I kept going until the painting felt like it was done. And when it was done I looked at it and I said "hell yeah." This is not a boring painting.  This is color. This is action. This is Minneapolis, the great city I live in.