Friday, March 13, 2009

Male Etsian Artist~ mindlesspursuits


I put my store in vacation mode today, yay! It was hard to do, but I definitely felt less stressed today. I've been working on my crochet and was able to leisurely do it, while playing with my girls. Here are two of Shay's new hats that I made! I'm so proud :) (I love huge flowers) I've made a few others but don't have photos yet. But I can't seem to figure out how to size booties correctly. :( They all come out too small or too big, its frustrating. Any advice??

I just adore the painted cherry blossoms and aster flowers! It's beautiful art like this that can really brighten up a room. The mountain river painting is so peaceful, it really reminds me of the mountains around here in WY.

I love his answer below, please make sure to read the red-very admirable! :)

  • How and when did you discover your talent?That depends upon how you define talent – some might say I’m still looking! But I’ve liked doing many different things, and since what’s mostly in my shop right now are paintings, I’ll focus on that. I hadn’t painted anything at all since junior high, and the last thing I painted then was a 2D color version of one of those line drawings from the back of a TV guide – you too can go to art school and all of that jazz. But I was a Bob Ross fan, and so as I grew older, I kept watching his shows and getting them on tape then DVD. In early 2008, I was on a medical leave from work and going stir-crazy so I finally decided to try painting again. I did a few various trial pieces, then after watching some more Bob, jumped in. I still have a long ways to go, though. Even by my own standards, my technique is basic.

  • What or Who do you think is the most important influence in your work?Well, in painting it would have to be Bob Ross, no doubt! That said, it’s really my mother and father. My mother loves flowers and flower painting, and my father has sketched landscapes all of my life. He’s actually the one who got me started watching Bob in the first place.

  • Does any of your art have a deeper meaning?None that anyone sees in my shop today carries any deeper meaning than to provide the visual uplift that pretty flowers or landscapes do. I’ve been told that means it’s not art. Whatever. I still enjoy doing it. That said, I’m a writer first and foremost, and I’m trying to make the transition from using words to provide meaning into explorations of how to do that visually. I don’t feel my technique is mature enough yet to want to display or show any of the pieces I’ve been working on yet, but eventually I’ll be happy with the results. Then my response will be much more interesting!

  • What is your favorite piece and why?Well, for what I have displayed in my shop today, it’s definitely the hand-painted cherry blossom pillow covers. They make me smile to look at them. My favorite piece to date hasn’t been photographed to show – it’s one of my attempts to put a thought-provoking concept to canvas. It’s my favorite because it’s driving me to better my technique and refine my way of thinking in order to visually express it.

  • Where do you do your work?My living room. I have a fairly small apartment that I share with my daughters and ALL of my various crafts and computers (I’m a Geek) and so I have to set up and tear down in the living room when I want to paint. I also only like to paint in natural light, and the living room is the only space that gets enough to paint in.

  • When do you feel the most creative and motivated?Just before bed, which is problematic as I need to sleep! I keep a ‘project journal’ with me though, and I write down ideas in as much detail as I can before falling asleep so that I can work on them later. I also tend to get more motivation when I’m listening to club music. If you need somber music to create thought-filled paintings, I’ll never complete one!

  • Have you found any pros or cons to being a male artist? Or does it even matter?Frankly, I haven’t found any pros or cons to being a male artist. Other than I seem to garner more discussion with other sellers at craft shows.

  • Do you feel that you should be promoted on Etsy for being male? I don’t think Etsy should promote anything other than on the basis of the work itself. While that may leave me out of the running for the front page, Etsy is a venue not unlike going to your local mall. The mall itself doesn’t promote sellers within. The sellers need to promote themselves. As such, I would just expect Etsy to list my work in the way that I pay for, and to keep their ideas on themes and promotions out of it. That’s my job to do for my shop.

  • What do you do to promote yourself?I don’t promote my shop, for a few personal reasons. I do promote my writing, so if I ever publish any writing on Etsy, I’ll have to figure out how to address this question.

  • Is there anything you would like to add?I’m very much about making the world a better place and putting self-interest aside as much as you can in a healthy fashion, so I encourage everyone to find ways to get involved in doing so.


  1. admirable indeed. keith's presence on etsy has had a profound influence on so many people, me included. and i get a thrill out of seeing the different paths his creativity takes. so glad you featured him here!

  2. LonesomeRoadStudioMarch 13, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Keith has the most wonderful ideas and the talent to go with them!