Our Blog today is from Flootie Artist Chuck Harmon. You can view more of his wonderful abstract artwork on his Flootie Profile Page here.
When I was 20 I was into sports. If it had a ball, it was “game on.” Basketball, baseball, flag football… By the time I was 30, I was married with a son. So focus changed. Softball, tennis, racquetball, diaper changing. From my mid-30’s to 67, I had grown into an “adult job;” the focus was to help people save for retirement. Then at age 67 I retired and realized I hadn’t followed my own advice, “always have a plan, especially for retirement.” My “plan” was to watch games on TV, and golf.
My wife had other plans. She handed me a brush, and said “paint.” Now, a little history is in order: Alice has painted since childhood, and we both love art, and since getting together In 1996, we’d traveled extensively to see new places and art. She doesn’t see the point in watching sports (“it’s just a game”) So I cut back on the sports, and reluctantly started making marks on hardboard. Geometric patterns at first, filling in shapes with different colors. (She’d given me a book that suggested that exercise). It started feeling like…fun!
I started blending colors on the painting surfaces and began to see scenes (or at least interesting designs) emerging. I took a drawing class. I was bored. I just wanted to blend colors. I liked the idea of NOT starting with a concept, but rather being surprised with the result. Eventually someone suggested I enter a juried show at a local gallery. Surprisingly, the piece was accepted. I had entered the “Spokane art community.” 2+ years of membership at Avenue West Gallery followed. But although I got exposure, and continued to develop my skill set, it wasn’t completely satisfying.
I took lessons from two or three well known artists in town and settled on acrylics as my medium. Then I met Ke’vin Bowers and continued my studies with him. Besides being a motivational art teacher, he was the first mentor that stressed SELLING. Since I was familiar with the concept, (30 years as a financial advisor), it seemed like the perfect marriage, creativity and commerce.
Jump forward a couple years, and enter Dean Cameron and Flootie. Just like my art, it’s a work in progress. But Dean has focus. He stays on point. From discussions with Dean and my further understanding of how you get things sold on the internet, I think this “art career” phase of my life might just satisfy both my creative AND my commercial side.
There are still problems of “focus”, i.e., what’s my “style”? As another mentor, Terry Lee, said, “you’re all over the place.” Truer a year ago when he said it, than now but still, I’m wrestling with finding something that I love to do and that defines a “Chuck Harmon.”
I’m not there yet, and even as I write this, I’m changing mediums. I started with oils and switched to acrylics, and in the past year, have been pouring resin over acrylic landscapes and abstracts. Fun! But commercially viable? Jury’s still out. Since I’ve been painting oil still life’s in Terry Lee classes, the oil idea has been taking hold. I love that you can come back to a piece the next day and make changes.
We just had a moderately successful Spokane Studio Art Tour. I sold a few pieces, but next year, you may see a whole new “Chuck Harmon” style, and it just could be oil paintings. Stay tuned to Flootie, Facebook, and www.harmonyartsspokane.com.