Q: They’re lucky kids. They’re way ahead of the curve.
A: Yeah, but to them it’s just normal. It’s just a part of life. To them it’s not anything special. It’s just an average thing that we do. It’s a daily thing we’ve been doing — my kids have been doing it their whole life. And now my grandkids are used to it. They think everybody’s grandfather does something like this.
Q: How did you get involved in art to begin with?
A: I was raised in small communities in California and Oklahoma when I was young. None of them had art galleries, none of them had museums, there were no artists around me. I don’t know how I got into it. It’s just something that from the time I was young I always would draw and paint, and when kids were out playing football I was inside painting.
I started sculpting in high school and the Cowboy Hall of Fame was the only museum I ever went to as a kid. I went there one time. I think I was 12 or 13, and my mother told me she had a camera and that I could go pick out my five favorite pieces and photograph them. I had to take a lot of time looking at them and figuring it out. Two of my favorite pieces were James Earle Fraser’s “End of the Trail” and his “Seated Lincoln” which are still on display at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. In the back in my head I thought, “One day I’d like to do that.”
Q: What’s the creative process like for you?
A: It’s like saying what is the creative process for writing an article. You go with it, it’s what you do. You go in and you do basically what I do. You become creative, you figure out how to lay it all out. Writing and sculpting is basically the same. You lay out a skeleton format of what you’re going to write on and the main points you’re going to cover — I build an armature. And then you go in and start fleshing it out, and that’s what I do — I go in and I start adding the clay and start creating a form and the mass I’m trying to receive.