Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, I developed and early fascination with natural history, thanks to family visits to the Cumberland Museum and the local library. I, like most kids, was especially drawn to prehistoric life. Countless hours were spent pouring over book illustrations of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. I often imagined their fossilized bones forming the shapes of the hills around me. Naturally, I attempted to draw the giants that captured my attention. These early artistic endeavors did not go unnoticed by those around me, and from that time to the present I have enjoyed the encouragement of those who have graciously regarded my talent as something special, and I am ever mindful of their kindness.
It wasn’t long before the thrill of dinosaurs gave way to the thrill of movie monsters. I marveled at seeing a giant gorilla carry a woman up a skyscraper, and I cheered at the sight of a radioactive, fire-breathing lizard stepping on army tanks and destroying cities. Then came the magic of Stop-motion films like Jason And The Argonauts and Clash Of The Titans. They filled my mind with more stomping, slithering, and stalking than I could hope for. The special effects of Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen were nothing short of spectacular, and I eagerly gazed with enchanted eyes. In addition to fantasy films, I became interested in the horror genre. I absorbed so many scary movies that I believe my brain may have some permanent scaring. Also, the Sci-Fi genre was a great source of joy. Light sabers, warp drives, and alien ships transported my thoughts into hyperspace. I still continue to love all of these types of films as well as the actors and special-effect wizards that make them possible.
As I became older, another pivotal point of my developing psyche presented itself in the form of New Age influences. I was deeply drawn into the enchanting worlds created by one artist in particular, Gilbert Williams. Williams created serene realms of land and water filled with ethereal orbs of light, spirit guides, ancient temples, and paths to open doors of glowing energy. Another illumination for me was the music of William Linton. Linton’s synthesized creations inscribed a sense of magic and wonder. Through these two artists, I began to notice the intoxicating natural world around me: big rolling clouds, old majestic trees, and babbling brooks and creeks. So, I began drawing landscapes, and I learned that sometimes the subject matter of a drawing is only half of the equation, and the worlds in which a subject exists can be equally important.
In an age that values education as it does, and it should, it would be nice to credit a university, a college or an art school for some of my ability, but I can’t. Somehow or another, I never found the time for formal instruction. My skills are self-taught and strictly intuitive. There have been those who have encouraged me along my way, but what I have learned about art techniques and mediums…I have learned on my own. I have been recognized in a few small competitions and I have been published a few times, but those accomplishments seem rather insignificant compared to those accomplishments of those that I admire. Speaking of those artists, I would like to single out for your perusal a few brilliant artists that have won my admiration; Frank Frazetta, Ken Kelly, Boris Vallejo, William Stout, Julie Bell, Mark Schultz and Alex Gray. I would also like to mention a few additional recording artist that have provided hours of inspiring ambiance while I have sought to complete a pencil drawing, an oil painting, or a digital painting. Some of my favorites are Tangerine Dream, Howard Shore, and David Arkenstone.
Currently I deploy a wide range of mediums in my creative practice. I greatly enjoy the simplicities of graphite pencils. It is about as basic as you can get, yet it can be as intricate and as complex as any medium. I once read that the basis for any great painting is a great drawing, so I try to always keep that in mind. Also, I actively use acrylics, oils, watercolors, pastels, airbrush, color pencils, oil pastels, and digital painting. Digital painting is my newest venture, and while I do enjoy computer graphic programs immensely, probably as a result of growing up in the Atari-Generation, I still prefer the traditional mediums overall. But, whether I am painting on canvas or using a digital stylus, I truly love what I do and I sincerely appreciate your interest! Thanks for taking the time to learn about me and some of the influences that have shaped my approach to art.