Sketching people and places is a natural, childlike thing. Yet, unlike most children, I couldn’t give it up. I was captured by the form of a thing, which may explain an early interest in sculpting. A high school art teacher entered one of my pieces in a state art contest. To my great surprise, that poor little alabaster sculpt won a blue ribbon as well as a ticket to a traveling Van Gogh exhibit.
I was overwhelmed by Vincent's intense color and became driven to learn to paint. Although I didn't try to sell anything until my late twenties, the struggle was a wonderful, consuming obsession. The first painting I sold probably covered 5 or 6 less successful pieces. Even today if you buy one of my paintings, you may be getting layers of multiple works.
Early on I made a living doing other things, but the need to paint was always there. I even sold a few pieces while reluctantly flying with the 19th Air Commando's in Vietnam. Later in London I showed a few pieces in Wynn-Morgan's Master/Student exhibit in Earl's Court, London. Wynn-Morgan's patron, the Duchess of Bedford, opened the show, insuring good exposure. But most importantly, Wynn-Morgan, R.A. taught me how to avoid making mud. My color became purer and I moved on. At that time form still trumphed color in my work. After years of struggle I later understood that color is more important than form.
In the meantime I learned to do quick likenesses, finally becoming a full time painter in 1977. Portraits became my bread and butter, especially quick 18 x 24 pastels or charcoals on Canson paper. I also painted more formal portraits in oil and/or acrylic.
In 1980 Wife and I launched a homemade 36' sailboat from Corpus Christi Texas. We even made the sails, then moved aboard and sailed around the Gulf of Mexico. We came ashore in various coastal towns along the way. I'd often hook up with a gallery and do portraits on-the-spot, occasionally selling one or more of my more quirky, colorful paintings, or sometimes a formal portrait. Five years later we came ashore permanently in St. Petersburg Fla, and I opened a gallery. The years flew by. In 1992 we got antsy, packed it in and moved up here to the Pacific North West. We now live on Fox Island in Washington. It rains a lot, but it finally feels like home.