Being an artist is very much intertwined in my everyday life. It’s who I am, all the time. I’m just as much an artist when I’m cooking dinner or riding a bike with the kids as when I’m working in my studio. I use all impressions of everyday life as inspiration for my art. In fact, without watching my children play or experiencing the forces of nature, I couldn’t be who I am as an artist. This summer was an example of how closely my art and my being are intertwined when I was promptly invited to make a mural in the restaurant of hotel Paradiso during my family holiday in Italy. The Paradiso hotel in South Tirol, Italy, is a purely vegetarian hotel that honors the beautiful nature by which it is surrounded. From a mountain plateau, the hotel overlooks the majestic mountain ranges of the Dolomites. To be invited here was an experience in itself. Watching the sun rise behind the mountains, breathing in the fresh mountain air and seeing my boys discover nature was pure bliss.
After our daily family breakfast my wife and kids went into the mountains or took a plunge in the swimming pool while I displayed my tools in the hotel lobby. Unprepared for this assignment, I had to do some local shopping for paint and tools. I chose materials that matched the hotel’s sustainable philosophy, water-based acrylic paint, which I had to mix myself.
How much the environment has inspired me is clearly visible in the final result: a 3D mural in which the shapes of a mountain range are undeniable apparent. It was memorable to be able to combine work and vacation in this extraordinary place and show my kids the inspiration and meaning of art. Besides assisting me with coloring squares, I hope the experience helped them better understand why their father is sometimes so absorbed by his work.