A few years ago my wife suggested I do as Rembrandt or Frida Kalhlo did — paint annual self-portraits. The first four were just my face. Last year I was sitting in a chair, sketching. This time I wanted to do one showing me as I am — an artist. Prior to this one I concentrated more on doing a perfect representation. This time I painted with emotion instead. What is represented here is how I really feel about myself.
Steps Beach is on the north shore of Nantucket. I like it because it’s not crowded. It is beautiful there. I’ve always enjoyed walking along the shoreline with bare feet, close enough that the waves rush over them. It’s so peaceful — the sounds of seagulls and the waves. I’ve learned that just because I’m one of the only ones there, the seagulls are sneaky — I caught one trying to get into my backpack to steal my lunch.
When my wife and I visited our daughter’s family in Cologne, Germany we had the opportunity to visit several different towns in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Sweden. One thing that was common in all of those places was street musicians. They were always really excellent and I loved hearing them and seeing them perform. Not only did they sound good, quite often they were wearing interesting clothing. This painting is a memory from Gamla Stan, the old town section of Stockholm, Sweden.
My wife and I had a wonderful vacation last year in New England. We wanted to see and ride in sailboats and schooners. One of the places we stayed was in Nantucket, an island south of Cape Cod. It is one of the most charming places I’ve ever been. Not only did we enjoy the boat ride, we really liked taking evening strolls along the waterfront. The water was so beautiful with the reflections from the moon, building lights and boats. This painting is my attempt to portray that magic.
This is a portrait of Katie. She is a very beautiful woman, both inside and out. I enjoyed doing this portrait because her personality came through. To me, the most important part of a portrait is the eyes.
This is my mother, Margaret Hutchings Slack. She married my father, Lawrence Roy Slack in 1946. She has seven children, thirty-seven grandchildren, ninety-three great grandchildren with three great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild on the way. She’s had a very busy life. Besides raising a family, she’s been involved with her church and community, has been a newspaper reporter as well as a secretary for a property management company. I loved painting my mom.
Summer is a great time to get out and be with family and friends. Here is my idealized version of that day. I like to portray people with their gestures. They come in all shapes and sizes and the clothes they wear show their ages and fashions. The street I used is in Madison, Indiana.
This is another painting from Rockport, Massachusetts. Looking down from the harbor wall is a long line of rowboats tied to the dock. I enjoyed the different shapes, angles and colors. The pattern of the image intrigued me.