Born and raised in the historic town of Madison, Indiana, much of my youth was spent at the local Boys Club where I had my first brushes with art, as the Club bought my first set of oil paints. Though art was something that I did well, it was just a hobby until my high school art teacher (Lou Knoble), informed me that I would be going on to art school. This surprised me almost as much as it did my other teachers.
My family didn’t have the money for college so, with the help of many people, I entered several scholarship competitions, won, and soon had the funds required. After the competitions, the number of colleges I could attend increased also, but the large drawing room at the John Herron School of Art was too hard to resist. I graduated from there in 1972 with a BFA degree. Because of that education, which so many people had a hand in, I have spent forty years as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, with the last fifteen running my own design and illustration business.
The years I have remaining will be spent working on my fine arts career for I have suppressed the desire to produce art long enough. It is time to paint.
I am not certain why it is that I paint and I have often wondered why anyone would bother with it at all. It would be hard to ﬁ nd something that has not already been painted and I would ﬁ nd it hard to believe you could paint something in a way that has not been tried before. The only thing I have come to know is that I can’t stop trying to express what it is I see or, maybe even more so, what I feel when I gaze on a sight as seemingly simple as a road covered with an early morning fog. I don’t think I see anything different than what others see. I am just trying to make sure they don’t miss the beauty that comes with the small and simple things in life. More importantly I realize that it is only with God’s blessing that I am able to see sometimes more with my heart than with my eyes. So maybe that’s why I try to use my brush to express what others may be able to put into words.
As I paint I don’t feel the need to paint every detail, nor do I want to. I tend to paint objects found in everyday life and we all know what these things look like so I try to paint just enough to engage your minds eye into putting in all the details for me. After all, I’m not really dealing with what is in the painting so much as I’m dealing with the emotions I’m feeling at the time I’m painting it. This is why I think my work is only successful when I feel more coming from it, than what I see coming from it.
I have had paintings in many shows including the Oil Painters of America National and Eastern Shows, the American Impressionist Society Show and the Cincinnati Art Club Viewpoint Show. I also regularly enter any and all of the Indiana art shows including the Hoosier Salon, Indiana Heritage, Indiana Artist Club, and the Richmond Art Show. I have won awards in all of them and continue to be active in any show I hear about and can get work to. Normally at this time I am doing about 20 shows a year.
Plein Air Events
One thing I have learned after painting Plein Air around the country for a few years is there is a lot more to being an artists than painting. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would live by a day planner I would have told you your nuts. But without it I could never ﬁgure out if I could do one event and still make it to the opening of another. Let alone can I ﬁ nd someone to drop off my work to the Salon Show and ﬁ nd someone to pick up my work at the IHA Show. Then throw in a few gallery change outs and a few show openings. It does get hectic. But this is the best job I ever had. And yes I said job, because if you don’t go at painting as a job then you have no one to blame but yourself if your work doesn’t get better.
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