Artist Statement

I never know when inspiration will hit.  I do know it comes from being aware…aware of sounds, of music, of lyrics, of words, of people, of situations, of color, of landscapes and leaves and odors and feelings.  In short, inspiration for art comes from living.  I have found art in things as simple as a plastic bag caught in a barbed-wire fence or in a hand-lettered sign along the roadway.  I have also found art in things as complicated as the way light moves over water or the pattern of color in a butterfly’s wing.


Someone once asked me how I wrote poetry that spoke volumes using such few words.  The only explanation I could give is that when I write poetry, I take away all the words I don’t need.  Perhaps my art can be explained in the same way.  While the details must stay because they are what define the art, I still must take away all the details I don’t need. In this way, and only in this way, can my art express how simple, and yet how complicated, life is. 


The fabric of nature always calls to me as I begin to create.  I use the many shades of blues, greens, browns, that lay the background for the natural world.   Yet, being aware, as I have always been even before my training as a scientist, nature is not always subtle.  Vibrant colors find their way into my art just as the light, gentle, soft, fabrics often give way to the bold texture.  It is the combination and the mixture that leaves the detail, not the detail itself.  What I take away is as important as what I leave behind.


If you are drawn to my artistic interpretation of life, you might be interested to know that I am a father of two sons, a grandfather, a retired teacher, an ex-marine, a lover of music and poetry and flowers and bugs.  I have logged  more than 100,000 miles on my Harley and I have loved the same woman for more than two-thirds of my life.  We are currently exploring our retirement years together, on our Harley and in our art studio.  Life is good.


R. Scott Flanagin