|O-114 Sierra Gray Fox oil 36x36 $1600|
It is my pleasure to personally share some things in my life that have contributed to my love of wildlife and its habitat and the desire to express this in the field of art.
I was born in Cody, Wyoming and raised in Kalispell, Montana, not far from Glacier National Park. I had a great time growing up, going fishing and hunting with my father and as a teen, hiking with my buddies into the back country wilderness, taking pictures with my trusty 35 mm SLR.
I guess I was drawing birds and animals as soon as I could hold up a pencil. I took up taxidermy at 12 yrs old, and soon folks were dropping off specimens on the front porch. I was also called on to draw and paint things, even symbols on the sides of Teepees, and I enjoyed illustrating the High School Annual with scenes from Indian life.
Although I left the area, my heart was always there. However, I did make it a point to always take my wife and sons to Yellowstone Park every summer for vacation, where I continued to take pictures of old snags and rocks and scenery that I filed away for future use in bringing back old memories on canvas when I had free time.
That is why I strive for realism, so the painting can be convincing enough that you feel you have stepped into an actual scene of Nature and you are there for real, witnessing some king of drama or action, which for me usually means ... predators.
I was largely self-taught, but felt encouraged when some folks seemed to appreciate my efforts ... and even more so when some of my pieces were accepted into the Los Angeles Audubon Society Wildlife and Environmental Art Show.
When I found time, I would take hikes into the sierras and so finally I decided to move to Sonora, to be close by the mountains.
This was a great decision ... here the Oil Painting World of technique and color was really opened up to me by a local artist and teacher, Gereon Rios of the Sonora Academy Of Fine Arts.
I hope then, that my paintings will be successful in bringing an measure of appreciation for God's wonderful creations and that my experiences and memories will perhaps evoke the same joys I have and that lie deep in the soul of those who have tramped the woods ... or even maybe those who were only able to dream about it.