"Slocum" 20.5"x 25" polished cement & dry pigment on panel
(click to enlarge)
I have been asked how I got started using cement to make my art. In actuality, I didn't choose to work in cement, I think it is closer to the truth that it chose me.
I have worked in almost all traditional media at one time or another. I experimented with many different techniques and styles over the years, from photo realism to abstract expressionism. I have the skills to paint any way I desire. I have decided to work non objectively, not out of necessity but out of need. It is important that imagery not get in the way of the authenticity of my work. When I worked in traditional media, even abstractly, I sometimes found that a direction I had taken started to feel familiar. Often I would realize that I was being overly influenced by another artist. Subconsciously I was making decisions based on what I liked in another persons work. It got to the point that I couldn't trust the validity of my motives and decisions.
In 2000 I was working on the construction of my home in Cedar Hill, Texas. There were many masonry task that need to be done, pouring slabs, laying tile, finishing sidewalks and driveways. As I worked, I noticed how good cement felt, how versatile it was. It began to speak me. It revealed to me textures, colors and surfaces that I had never seen before! My brain began to whirl with all the many applications this new medium could foster in my work. It was like wiping the slate clean, nothing felt familiar, no influences to avoid. My art became an exciting adventure where I could experiment, break new ground and trust my instincts once again.