I was born an adventurer. My mother had to harness me to keep me from exploring the woods around where we lived in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Paradise, California. I felt the urge then, and I feel it now - to see and explore our great and wonderful world.
For a long time I was interested in architecture and people - painting bridges, old buildings and city scenes. At the same time I had a personal interest in the animal kingdom, visiting natural areas to see and photograph birds and animal life. But it wasn't until 2016 that I really explored painting animals in earnest.
When I painted bridges, I was saying something about light and the juxtaposition of man's technical solution sitting out there in nature; and when I painted buildings it was about culture and history; and with portraits, - I’ve always loved capturing body language and personality.
Then a lion kissed me. (I don't know why that lion kissed me)! He wasn't supposed to come out of his trench!!!
And I realized we are all connected, and that, yes, animals have body language too, just like people, and there's all kinds of things I can observe and say about them! I feel all kinds of emotions when I'm painting these lovely creatures. Sometimes it is sadness, or it is an apology for my own lack of understanding, or for my fellow man - as with the elephants. Or mostly - it is just plain - - humbling.
Because, who am I to try and paint I a miracle? . . . but. . .that is part of being an artist. . .I must try.
Now, I am a wildlife artist.
I wanted to be a commercial artist and illustrator, I landed my first professional job at the age of 18. By 19, I was working as an illustrator for Boeing (pictured above) during the Apollo Space Program, Cape Canaveral, Florida.
From there I went on to creative work at such places as the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area and Mt. St. Helens (seen here working on the first environmental plan).
What does a person do after the excitement of a volcano? Go to Europe! I worked there as an Art Specialist for 8 wonderful years.
I opened my first studio in 1992 in Iowa. It was from there that I created the WOMAN! exhibit. My next studio was in Omaha, and the next big project was, J. Doe.
I closed my Omaha studio, took an artist residency in Tokyo, supervised a creative group of Japanese writers, photographers and artists and had another adventure. Then I had my own studio in Yokohama and worked the Asian Pacific writing and producing stories. I had a solo exhibition in Yokohama.
There's more. There's Tanzania in East Africa, and my studio now, here in MIddletown, Ohio and in Arizona.
And here's some dry stuff:
I've given workshops at the Loveland School of Sculpture, the Hand Workshop in Richmond, VA and at the Art Student's League in Colorado and in many locations throughout Europe, Japan and the USA. I've had several residencies. I've painted everywhere. I've served as a judge for juried exhibitions in Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska, Arizona, Virginia, and throughout Europe. I've been featured in Southwest Art Magazine, Clay Times Magazine, Millionaire Magazine, Who's Who, and others.
I was named Neighborhood Leader of the Year for the State of Iowa and received the Mayoral award in Omaha for work on the J. Doe Project. I worked in Haiti and Africa. B.A. from the University of Maryland, graduate studies in fine arts with Mainz University, Germany, and in music from University of Nebraska at Omaha.
My first chapter was space vehicles, buildings and bridges, my second was portraiture, and now I just want to play with the animals.