A spark. Flash. An instantaneous moment of recognition. Now hold it. Twist it, turn it, make it last long enough so I can stare at it as long as I want to. No, that wasnít quite it, almost. Itís okay for now. Oh, thereís another one. Now I have five, six. Wait. I have to write this down, before I forget. The drawing is okay, at least it wonít let me forget. What is that? Scratch it out, that one is okay. How can I make that? Okay, now I see it. An old crow will pick up anything shiny. Would anyone pick this up? I would if I hadnít made it. New Stimuli, old story. New language. Who is listening? No one to talk to. Donít get it.
Just an elf in Santaís workshop. These toys keep getting more strange. When I was a kid I made airplanes and soldiers. I played with them for a while, flew the airplanes around on the end of hay bailing twine, set up the soldiers in mock combat, then shot at them with my BB gun. Maybe I should shoot at these new things with my BB gun. Might help some of them look better. No, canít do that now, this is serious.
As long as I can remember, Iíve made things. Always things I didnít have. As a child it was always something out of reach, such as a toy airplane, or GI Joe. It started with masking tape and paper grocery bags. For some reason my maternal Grandmother gave them to me when I was just three. I always had plenty of paper and pencils and tape. With my allowance I usually bought airplane models. But that didnít stop me from making my own model planes out of paper. I had a couple of GI Joes, but thatís not enough for a platoon, so I made numerous others out of paper and tape.
I was always the artist in school, but the only kind of grown-up artists I knew about were comic book artists or sign painters. In high school I lost interest in Art. I was too naive to believe I could do anything with it. I didnít know what to do, I forgot who I was.
In 1980, I felt I was being called to be a minister. I went to school for two years studying Religion, but became frustrated and changed my major to Psychology, thinking that maybe I just wanted to help people. But that wasnít it either. Then I decided to do something ďcreativeĒ with my hands. So I dropped out of school and got a job at an auto-body shop. That was even more frustrating, so finally in 1986 I moved to Orlando, enrolled at the University of Central Florida and began studying Art. I received my BFA in painting in 1991. My daughter Kellen was born in 1992, my youngest daughter Mattie was born in 1995. I received my MFA in sculpture from Florida State University in 1996.
I worked at a Bronze foundry for a short time, have been a College Level Instructor and professional sculptor for the last several years. Iíve recently been able to dedicate a large portion of my time pursuing my personal work.
I grew up in the country in Central Florida, helping my Paternal Grandmother work on her cattle ranch. I believe the rugged Florida landscape and the architecture of the workings of the ranch, have indelibly etched in my mind the rudimentary outlines of the images that have become my work. The old ways and the memories of my maternal Grandparentsí North Florida farm, with its old barns, livestock and machinery have also shaped the way I see things.
Even now, my wife and I own two horses, five cows, four dogs and one cat. I canít do anything with them without some kind of reticent image flickering in my mind.
Copyright 2006 Jim Casey