For a short time I had a mentor in Flagstaff. His advice is ever present in my work. He taught me more about presentation, professionalism, craftsmanship, and art criticism than anyone else. He devoted hours to helping me find direction in my work.
This mentor came to mind the other day, while I built a new stack of panels. He scrutinized every bit of what I brought him, down to the type of paneling nails I used. Although his advice cut the weight and warp of my panel construction in half, aesthetically he and I disagreed.
To him, exposed canvas on a finished painting was a “sin,” as well as any sign that the artwork had been crafted by hand. You ought to cover your tracks, hide the nails, clean the edges. I don’t think he wanted you to think of a painting when you looked at one.  As I pound nails and assemble panels, however, I realize I have no intention of disguising the artwork. The paintings are as real an object as the world they represent. This is not a pipe; this is painting. Wood is beneath the surface, nails set it in place, a hand applied each stroke. You see more history in a painting that doesn’t hide its blemishes.Red Steps