Stepping back and looking

I had been thinking about starting this project for about 20 years. Initially, I wanted to shoot photos of people because at the time I was really into photography. But I put photography on the back burner to have kids. Around that time, film photography was beginning to be replaced by digital and by that point I just kind of forgot about the origin story project. Fast forward to last year when the pandemic hit. Being stuck at home, I started to pour myself into painting. It dawned on me that I could actually create my origin story project… but with painted portraits. And that’s how this whole thing began really. August 1, 2020 I posted the first painting, of myself, for this Punk Rock Origin Story project. Today I have 22 stories and paintings completed. Most of the people so far I know. Almost half of the people I connected with are new contacts. Some have reached out to me. Some I have reached out to. This weekend there was a flurry of people messaging me wanting to get in on the project. 5-6 new people all at once is a lot for me. Most of the time they trickle in. Sometimes I take a month to finish a painting. Sometimes one night. I am not good at following up with the people I have sent my questionnaire to but haven’t heard from. I don’t want to bug people. As it is now, there’s no pressure to swiftly churn through submissions. I work on them when I feel like it. For now, my goal is to get to at least 100 stories/paintings. So if you have a story to tell and I haven’t heard it, contact me.

I don’t consider myself a great artist. If I had to I would say I’m just ok. But I am have so much fun. I look at all of this as practice, as me refining my skills. In case you were wondering, I have not gone to art school. I have taken some art classes at Community College of San Francisco. They have a great art department. I credit Inna Razumova for kick starting my curiosity of proper design and figure drawing. She was a great teacher. I also credit Wendy Yoshimura in Oakland, CA for teaching me watercolor basics. She is a master of watercolor still life. I can still hear her chastising me for taking paint directly from the tube with my brush. These days I guess I am trying to make up for never going to art school out of high school. So far, I am enjoying it all.

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