Born in 1955 in Ohio, I’m told I started drawing at age three. All I know is that I can’t ever remember not drawing.
I do remember my Kindergarten teacher letting me paint very large (6’ x 8’) murals of dinosaurs and other animals and plants; which still sounds like a good project even today.
Around age nine or ten, I received my first oil paint set and continued with oils, probably more out of comfort and familiarity, than anything. I tried to copy the old masters’ paintings from a borrowed Bible, (for some reason, there was never a single book at our house) or some painting I found in a book at the school library.
After graduating high school, I got a job at a stained glass studio . . . bad move. I spent a long, miserable time there because I thought there were no other opportunities in art, since I‘m not a graphic designer or gallery painter. At the studio, my boss figured that because I was an artist I should be the one to paint the lines in the parking lot!
Right about then I decided to try to get some outside illustration work. After stacks of rejection letters, it finally happened. About that time, the stained glass ship started to sink; I got laid off, and the place went out of business.
Since then, I’ve been on my own. I’ve had the good fortune to do book illustration, (which I love best) magazine, advertising, concept sculpt design, monument design, and collectors’ commissions. Some of my fantasy art has also appeared in Spectrum.
I am a “self taught” artist. Those two words really mean “complete frustration”. I don’t have much of a technique, and I couldn’t do computer art if you put a gun to my head. But I do love to draw and paint. I think my biggest influences have been early 19th century painters and illustrators and the fantasy films I’d seen growing up, like King Kong and the films of Ray Harryhausen.
Actually, I’m awed by just about everything in art, with the exception of most abstract art. I guess I’m not a very deep guy.