‘Be careful what you wish for’ is a common adage. In my case, it applies in a way that I couldn’t have imagined. I spent twenty-five years working in the printing industry wishing that I had more time for my art. It came in the form of medical leave. A Parkinson’s diagnosis allowed me to finish writing and illustrating a novel. Toward the end, however, I could barely draw. With its addition, I have three books to my credit (two of them using the pseudonym D.C. Morrister). Still, I regret not having done more.
Why compose stories when I was trained as a painter? The limitations of art are the reason. Nudity in a studio classroom is academic. Almost anywhere else, a bare body is sensational. After graduating, I studied regular women. Whomever I got to pose seemed ashamed of herself (regardless of her beauty). Our encounters went deeper than how anybody looked. Disrobing, itself, is psychologically charged. A singular picture failed to capture the complexity of a subject. Reality wouldn’t fit into a frame.
My works of fiction are an attempt to portray the figure more broadly. None has any sex, profanity or violence. Each is an exploration of body image and identity. Like the prominent window onto the outside world in a lot of my compositions, they deal with the line between the private and the public. Clothes symbolize the artifice separating one from the other. They are, to quote In So Many Words, simply “props in ridiculous dramas that each of us made up if only to star in them”.