About The Artist
How I got here from there, including but not limited to...
Those stories my parents told me in childhood ( long before I ever heard of Tolkien) about the caverns hidden underground studded with rubies and emeralds, unending and spontaneous, and full of magical creations. Stories full of visual imagination, passed on from Celtic, German, Welsh and Scandinavian roots.
Later, when I was able to read to myself, the entire fairy tale section of our town library, Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake, The Mabinogian, Dickens, Roald Dahl, Ronald Searle, King Arthur, A A Milne and Pooh, Kenneth Grahameís Wind In the Willows, C S Lewis.
I saw Heironymus Bosch, Van Gogh, all those classic childrenís artists of the last century, the Robinson Brothers, Edmund Dulac, Karin and Carl Larsson, Arthur Rackham, (who influenced Brian Froud, who passed it on to Jim Henson and the Dark Crystal), those weird Symbolism artists, Odelon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Jan Toorop, Gustav Klimpt, Aubrey Beardsley, Frida Kahlo, the Pre-Raphaelites and those strange obsessed Victorian fairy artists of the middle of the century: John Anster Fitzgerald, Richard Dadd, Richard Doyle and Joseph Noel Patton. Then I found the troll artists Rolf Lidberg, John Bauer, Theodor Kittleson and writer Selma Lagerlof.
Later, the film images of Theda Bara, early Gloria Swanson, Kurosawa and other Japanese films about spirits and ghost maidens like Kaidan, Felliniís Juliet of the Spirits, misunderstood Frankenstein, Tim Burtonís (who must have been reading the same stuff I was) Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissor Hands. Recently I have found Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.
The music of Stravinskyís Rite of Spring, Mussorgskyís Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on Bald Mountain by Rimsky-Korsakov stimulated visions.
Then I discovered the diversity of tradition and magic of other cultures: Native America, Africa, Latin America, India and Tibet, Southeast Asia and South Pacific.
I already was familiar with Celtic and Scandinavian culture from my family but I found there is a whole rich world of story telling, art, music, and magic that is connected by the human spirit and the common threads among all of these are the colorful imaginations, an unfolding of tradition and a certain sense of humor.