I can’t remember when I wasn’t interested in art and nature. As a child my father taught me to draw and make things from the clay gathered from the stream behind our Pennsylvania farmhouse. With that experience and encouragement I excelled in art as a child. A middle school art teacher took me under his wing, working with me every night after school, using colored pencils to create pictures of wildlife. Although it was only copying, it strengthened my drawing skills and started the process of really observing. Throughout high school I entered every poster contest that came my way. keeping myself in spending money. This, coupled with a keen interest in nature, set my path early in life.
I graduated from Kutztown State University in Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Art Education. My intention upon going to college was to be a painter, however I soon discovered that the only style being taught was abstract, which held little interest for me. Subsequently, I graduated with a major in ceramics and sculpture, and taught drawing, ceramics, and sculpture at Howard University and Bloomsburg State University for five years. I left behind my tenured position to pursue a career as a studio artist. I was a full time potter, showing nationally for twenty-five years until a back injury brought an end to that pursuit. At the same time this injury opened a “new Life” for me – to become a painter after all. By this time a number of renowned painter were teaching exactly what I was interested in – ‘Painting realism’. ‘impressionistic realism’ – both in the studio and ‘en plein aire.
My wife, Sylvia (also a painter) and I ‘hung our hats’ in Arizona while taking full advantage of the magnificent scenery and excellent teacher all over the West. We painted our way from Canada to Mexico in our RV, following the bird migrations. Although I painted a lot of landscapes, I took every opportunity to paint wildlife.