As the title of this thread says, I think maybe I should. I have been talking a lot and probably seem to have come out of nowhere
My name is John Cox and as my screen name says I live in Arizona. I never even imagined being an artist early in my life even though I loved to draw and art of all kinds, paintings, sculpture fascinated me for the time I was a little kid with crayons and a coloring book. But and artist? Not a boy from South Texas, interested in hotrods motorcycles, racing and girls, that is for sure!
I grew up in the late 1940's and especially the 1950's. Back then we went to school and learned readin,' ritten,' and 'rithmatic. The three "r's as many called it. After school a few kid went to college, but a lot of us went in the service. So, in 1959, I went in the US Navy. The Navy does not lie in it's recruitment posters. I did see the world. I went around the world two and a half times in 5 years. I loved it and was going to make it a career, but I was wounded on Shore Patrol duty. I was fixed up and discharged in 1964.
I had no idea what I was going to do since every thought had been focused to a Navy career. Well, while trying to figure things out I returned to what I knew before. Hotrods, motorcycles, and racing. I got into drag racing and within a year doing it at a professional level. I also began painting them doing custom work as a "day job" during the week. I also married, had a family and kept racing and painting race cars and motorcycles. I also did pin striping, lettering, gold leaf work. everything that went into completing a first class paint job on many famous race cars.
In 1974 racing had changed dramatically and so had the costs. Corporate sponsors were coming in and there is a saying in racing that nothing goes faster than cubic money. I had a family to support and began thinking what I really wanted to do when I grew up. When not painting cars or driving as a substitute driver, I drew pictures to relax and think. A friend who was a very fine potter took several of my drawings and had them matted and took them to an art show he was in while I was out of town. Not only did he sell them, he met a gallery owners wife who gave him a card and told him to tell me to get in touch as soon as I returned. well this is getting way longer than I intended but suffice to say, that is how I became an "artist." Yesterday, I could not spell it, but today I are one.
This began a scramble to learn what the hell am I doing! I talked to other artist at mall shows, I bought books, I drew and painted everything, everyday and for 10 to 12 hour a day. I went to museums, art galleries, shows, you name it. I did everything I could think of to learn. There was no real fine arts school where I lived or anywhere close, so it was books, help from other artists and lots of trial and error. more error than anything else. I had never heard of an art workshop, let alone look into taking one or two. There was no internet that had wonderful sites like this one. It was work. I was fortunate in that for whatever reason, I could see something and draw it. I had no clue what I was doing, really.
That was 38 years ago. Since I have had the good fortune to meet and become friends with some of the finest artist working today. I came from car painting and racing into the world of art and showing in top galleries and teaching workshop and was a regular teacher at the Scottsdale School of Art until old injuries and health made that a little to much. Now I live in the foothills north of Phoenix/Scottsdale and work in my studio. My son helps with crating and shipping, stretching linen for me. I'm only 71, but if I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself as the saying goes. Two heart attacks, asbestos in lungs, not to mention that my lungs must be candy apple of some color over mother of pearl, bad joints from arthritis and old injuries has made it so going out and painting in the desert or mountains has become out of the question for me. Consequently, I am shifting my subject matter more towards people and still lifes with an occasional landscape.
I tell you all this because we can all work and learn by dedicating ourselves and working to achieve the best quality possible, be it art or whatever. Paint everyday and take classes, review Marks videos repeatedly and go for i. You will succeed.
This is my other last painting of 2012. I hope you like it.