As early as I can remember, I considered myself an artist.
It was during high school when I really made art a priority. My commercial art teacher exposed me to just about every medium and technique he knew about. With his coaching, I won a Scholastic Art award year after year. As a senior, I won a scholarship to the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Art & Design.
I studied commercial art and design and when I graduated from RIT immediately went to work doing ads for a retail furniture company. I really enjoyed the mixing of art and words.
I became an art director. My drawing skills were very useful in showing clients how nice their ads would look. During this time, I took part time courses at several art schools.
During these lessons, I became aware of the many illustrators that had dominated the art world with their work. An agent took me on and began getting me assignments. On one of those jobs, I learned how to use an airbrush.
That was a major change in my career. It was not long before that became my main medium. I was an illustrator doing illustrations for several large agencies and publishers. Eventually, I had representation worldwide.
Then the bottom dropped out. Computers were creating art. The demand for illustrations was being shared with “techies” – people who could not actually draw anything.
Then, one of my sons bought a motorcycle and said, “Paint it for me, Dad.” But I was not familiar with painting on metal or curved surfaces. After a year, I said I would give it a try. He put the painted bike on the road and my phone started to ring.
I had a new career. I have painted more than 200 motorcycles. Many of them won awards. I was a bike painter for a number of years.
My clients wanted me to paint what they wanted on their bikes. I painted wolves, lions, dragons, eagles and skulls. I did testimonial bikes featuring famous and infamous characters.
I found out that I could paint.
So I started doing that on my own, on canvas and on paper. Pretty soon folks were asking me to do art for them – for their walls, not their motorcycles.
Twelve or so years ago, I moved to the Lowcountry. I have fallen in love with the scenery and wildlife. I joined the Society of Bluffton Artists. I still belong to that group and exhibit there monthly.
For the past 10 years, I have been painting weekend evenings at The Studio Restaurant on Hilton Head. Many of my paintings are on display there.
My work is also now found at Studio B Marketplace in Bluffton.
My background as an illustrator shows in my works today. My work tells a story.