BANNER STYLE PAINTING
In 1974 after traveling with circuses and carnivals for a period of time, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with noted sideshow banner artist Fred G. Johnson in his studio above the O’Henry Tent and Awning Co. in Chicago. It was through this experience and others relating to my stint traveling with sideshows that I began thinking about using banners as a way of presenting some of my own art work. At first I only planned to use these banners for the outdoor entertainment venues they were intended for, but after looking more closely at the kinds of subjects and themes that were already a part of my own art work, I decided that creating personal “banner subjects” would help me to present my work in a context that was more easily understood. This loose canvas format related to the kind of signage commonly associated with carnival attractions, fraternal lodge rituals, and medieval religious pilgrimages. I suspected that the information that I was trying to disseminate through my paintings held a close kinship to these very same institutions and their unique storytelling traditions. I have continued to paint and display a portion of my work in this same format throughout the last thirty years.