I was born to be an artist. My mom named me, and I’ve never been too excited about what she picked out, so I use my initials. “A” is for Arthur; she thought about naming me “Arthur Rackham Tist” but my dad said, “What kind of a middle name is ‘Rackham’ nowadays?”
So she settled on Arthur and went to work on my middle name. Reubens?
“No.” Dad was firm about this. “The other kids will either call him ‘sandwich’ or ‘meathead.’ ”
Didn’t stop mom. Rembrandt!
“Is he a ninja turtle?”
Redfield. Reid? Renoir.
Rivera. Robinson. Rockwell.
“No, no, and no.”
“That’s it! A good, masculine name. Maybe he’ll be a famous duck hunter.”
So, anyway, I was born to be an artist. Mom was an art teacher; Dad an art critic for a bunch of small newspapers and part owner of a fledgling gallery. And no, I’m not even kind of a famous hunter. But that’s okay; I like taking photos of unusual plants and animals, including the most unusual of all – humans.
You’ll see my work in this space on an irregular schedule (can that be? A schedule implies constancy and precision, after all…) I’m continuing to explore the world of creativity and mixed media. A nameless critic once said I was a “one dimensional artist.”
That’s a contradiction too. If my work’s on your computer screen, it’s not one-dimensional – your computer has depth, width and height; even time when you stop and think about it. So I just gave that critic the brush-off. And I keep on painting.