Primarily a watercolor painter in Utah and Alaska I started seriously exploring other media and art forms about ten years ago. I moved from watercolor into liquid acrylics rather seamlessly. Soon I focused more on texture, and the doors were opened for just about any combination of materials, including mixed media, sculptural elements, and found objects.
This was a fun and informative time for my artwork. I started to question the role of art in my life, in the lives of my peers, in Alaska, and then in America and the world at large. I looked to the past and contemporary art for inspiration and guidance as well as content. The art and artists that were actually trying to say something other than “look at this pretty thing to display in your space” spoke to me, and soon my work took a sharp turn off of the landscape and wildlife path that I had been traveling.
Protest and street art, as well as social and political commentary, really caught my artistic attention and time, leading me to question my role as an artist in a wacky world. I had no idea how to express these ideas in my work and was basically forced to reinvent my way of looking at and creating art. I struggled for several years to find my voice with this new subject matter, flirting with political cartoons, paintings, and found object artworks that tried to show the world as I saw it. I found inspiration in the larger issues we all face from a local perspective. Living in a tiny town in Alaska that was experiencing some major growing pains became near and dear to my heart and art. You see, I had moved to Alaska to get away from the mass mentality and consumer culture, yet found that I had not moved far enough as civilization began to steadily encroach on my world through digital tech along with a growing herd of big box stores marching into the area. Those changes inspired a series of art entitled “Big Box Hunter Gathers” which includes “Hunting for a Foot long” pictured below. When I first moved to Alaska a common sign or saying in the mom and pop stores was “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”. For the most part this was very true. Folks were proud to get by on what they had. Now the world wide chain stores have set up shop and if you can wait a few days there is always online shopping. I sold my dream home that I built near Talkeetna, Alaska, and headed for the the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park area of the Big Island of Hawaii. If I was going to live in the constantly connected world I might as well enjoy some wonderful weather, I figured. Here I started working in lino block print making as a new artistic exploration as well as continuing my newly acquired artistic passions of plein air and realism sketching.
The new and diverse landscapes of Hawaii helped to rekindle my love for landscape art as well. After about a year in the subtropics, I chased dreams in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the Caribbean Islands. While traveling and gaining further perspective on the ever shrinking world, I finally began to find my style and voice with the social commentary work. During these adventures, I also started printing on textiles and the Bowman INK brand of shirts etc. was birthed. For now, I am back on the Big Island of Hawaii, residing near Volcano Village and growing the Bowman INK shirt-works whilst making time to pursue my other loves in the art and natural world.