Thoughts and answers
Hibernation comes naturally.
The artists in their studio need only the awareness of themselves, of history and their accrued skills.
They must have knowledge of the past and present.
We cannot divorce from what is now nor can we escape ourselves.
Our current political situation and my personal situation are ever present but enter my work subliminally.
In my 60 plus years of painting I have revealed my life, its good and bad, its changes.
Painting is an old person's profession and also a young one's.
When I was young I knew nothing (but I thought I knew everything) so I was free in my naiveté to do anything.
Now past 80, I know much and realize how much there is still unknown and I am free to do everything.
It is the in-between years where the going get rough. It's the everyday personal stuff and the career stuff that throw one off track.
I have been thrown off course a few times, but adapted and learned.
It has always been about freedom.
Teaching in universities in large cities allowed me financial freedom.
I got to Houston from Chicago/St. Louis when they still rolled up the streets at night.
I lived and painted at The American Academy in Rome for 4 years studying the Old Masters and learning from The Antique.
I am fortunate to never having been bound to a style that involved sales.
A craft is not art, but all art must have craft.
I stopped making Art in the 70s when I was in my thirties and started telling personal stories referencing mythology and art history.
The Joseph Campbell series The Masks of God opened my eyes to the potential myth within us.
There are many ways to tell the story, as I have many different emotions.
I let the style tell the tale.
What I do is paint.
My mantra is "Why not?" It's only a piece of canvas or paper.
I do not concern myself with legacy.
Earl Staley lives and works in Houston, Texas.