I’ve noticed that many of your paintings have bright colors. Why is that? In Haiti that’s all they do. The Haitian paintings, they’re full of colors … that’s why you see my paintings full of them. It’s something to recognize me as an artist. Hopefully, if you go somewhere and see something like this, you’ll recognize me.

So you’re from Haiti? Yes. I left there when I was 14.

Is that why many of your pieces seem to have an island flavor? Oh yes, definitely it’s an island flavor … I want to show the livelihood of the people in the Caribbean, not just Haiti. I want to show color, happiness, movement.

You mentioned you have a wife and son. Does she support your art? She knew that "if you marry me, you marry my art." If you take my art, you might as well take my air. My oxygen? You might as well cut it out.

Have you had any formal training as an artist? That’s my mistake in life. I should have furthered that.

If your son should decide to become an artist, would you try and get him into school? I try to sit down and work with him … If I cannot teach him myself, I’ll get him to somewhere he can study. Maybe he won’t be like me; maybe he’ll be better. If he can study art, he’ll have an advantage.

When you were in the Army, did you paint often? It’s something that’s in your blood. I used to go home and work on my art and watch the stress of the day disappear.

Is there any piece you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of? There’s a piece in the (Warner Barracks Community Activity Center) right now called, "Smoking Man." It’s a man with a pipe. I really like how the smoke turned out.

I saw that your art is for sale. Do you have luck with that? I do sell some, yes, but I’m not going out just to sell. I like showing my work. When I show my work, I feel much better.

Are any of your paintings truly complete? Well, if you look at it, you’re done. But if I see it, it’s not finished. There’s always something that can be done.

Is there anything else you’d like to say? As a young artist, I was doing things to please people. I eventually said,‘to hell with this,’ and did what I wanted. If they want my work, they must come to me.

Do you ever feel you’ll stop painting? No. I’ve been doing this for a while, and I’m still hanging in there.

Interview by Mark St.Clair. Know someone whose accomplishments,talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Send the person’s name and contact information to:

Spc. Hannah Norris

Claim to fame:

Location: Warner Barracks, Bamberg, Germany

Claim to fame: Painter

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