I hadn't painted in 5 months or so, then I picked up oil again for the first time in about 8 years. I found myself reliving (and reviling) the technical challenges and frustrations that go with it. But a challenge isn't always a bad thing. Most of these works are 8x10 to 16x20 inches, and the last one in the slide show is a pastel I did in 30 minutes at school one day.
It's easy to forget how important creating is until after a period of "inactivity" (in-other-activity) I make something again and am conscious of the thing taking shape before me. Be it painting, collage, drawing or printmaking, I have a need to do this. The idea of forgetting you have a need is strange, but it happens to me. I need to create visual art like I need to be a teacher. I forget my love for them both until I'm thrown in again. I enjoy the time away but I'm drawn back again, inevitably.
Both teaching and painting help me understand what's going on inside. They are both ways to reach people and hopefully change them for the better. I know each novel encounter changes me. Erwin McManus says something to the effect that "we are all creating futures" so whether the medium is paint, ink or a relationship, we are all always creating.
Both painting and teaching make me more aware of the world and others. Each is an occasion to study phenomena and behavior. In each sphere there are problems to solve and lessons to learn. I find myself in two streams of continuous, inexhaustible novelty.
J0hn Hunter Speier
Recent work, and explorations of techniques, aesthetics and poetics.