I don't watch TV, so I feel like I'm left out of the American fabric or something.
When you're on a highway, viewing the western U.S. with the mountains and the flatness and the desert and all that, it's very much like my paintings.
I was attracted to the concept of Hollywood and the lifestyle here. But I've grown to mistrust it because it has changed. I didn't bargain for digital access parking in some concrete structure. Real heaven for me was to drive somewhere and park right in front. Now the city is going vertical.
I'd read about Los Angeles and this fact stuck in my mind: that the city gained 1,000 new people every day. In 1956! A thousand people every day! I felt: 'I want to be part of that.'
Traveling is irritating to me, but not driving. Going to the airport makes me nervous, but when I set out to just take a leisurely drive, it's blue skies and puffy clouds and time.
My friends and neighbors were always fixing their cars. Soldiers who felt restless wanted to work on something, and they understood cars. Me, I like to look at cars but I was never really a mechanic.
The big pay-off was to work as an artist and gain some shred of respect from your friends, who were also artists. But there was never any notion that you could make a living out of art. On the rare occasions you had a gallery show, and sold a little work, well, that was just gravy.
I knew I wanted to be some kind of artist from about 12. I met a neighbour who drew cartoons, and I had an idea I wanted to be a cartoonist - or something that involved Indian ink, at any rate.
As an artist, I gotta stand up to my own work.
I travel a lot, but I don't come away with new inspiration.
People refuse to believe that I've never been to Starbucks or Disneyland.
All my artistic response comes from American things, and I guess I've always had a weakness for heroic imagery.
I have no social agenda with my work. I'm deadpan about it.
I was raised with the Bible Belt mentality, and by coming to California, I came out of this dark place and unlearned a lot of things I'd been taught.
I wasn't captivated by the romance of Paris or London. I love visiting, but I'd rather be in L.A.
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