I have been an independent
artist my entire life. My mother was a writer who wrote the television
show "Taxi" among other notable projects. She owned
a coffeehouse in the 60's and my step-father was a gay theater
director so musicians, actors, writers and artists surrounded
me from the moment of my birth. My sisters and I have been sung
to sleep by famous musicians and we had lots of lessons in art
by many well known N American artists of the day. My mother collected
people, not nick-knacks so we had a very interesting early life.
I started painting when
I was 8 years old and did my first outdoor art show, The Allentown
Art Festival in Buffalo, NY, when I was 14. I worked my way through
high school painting and selling my work at shows as well as
starting my own commercial art business painting signs, logos,
designing album covers for bands and backdrops for theaters in
the area. After two years in the Fine Arts Department of York
University in Toronto, Ontario, I decided to continue my artistic
studies at a new school at the time, The Ringling School of Art
& Design, in Sarasota, Florida, and moved south where I studied
painting and printmaking.
I have always been a painter. I started working in
oils, moved on to India inks, then watercolors and finally acrylics.
Soon after moving to Florida I bought my first etching press
and started working in Intaglio Etching Hand Painted with Acrylic
washes. At that time the outdoor art fair circuit was young and
thriving and the American economy was healthy. With a full show
schedule and monthly gallery orders, being a real printmaker
allowed me to maintain my artistic integrity and continue to
offer original art to the public.
I believe in original art.
As artists, our solitary natures find us spending a great deal
of time alone in our studios working to create new and exciting
artwork while striving to maintain our own individual styles.
I believe that the independent artist who actually toils to create
original art in their studio is special, unique and unusual and
should be protected, nurtured and supported as treasures.
I believe in education. We need to work to reeducate the public
as to the importance of original art in everyday life. Artists
are thinkers and dreamers and I believe their work enriches the
lives of everyone who comes in contact with them.
I have always lived by the beach, surfing, fishing, diving, and
snorkeling. I got my first boat when I was seven years old and
I was raised to understand that we are the caretakers of our
fragile environment. I have always been passionate about the
ocean. My subject matter reflects my love of the sea. I have
maintained my studio here in Englewood/Boca Grande area for over
35 years now and have developed a good reputation as a fine artist
being very involved in all aspects of art in my community.
I was on the steering committee,
which saved, restored and created The Hermitage Artists Retreat,
an international artist's retreat connected to the Greenfield
Foundation, in what was my Mother's old house on the beach. I
was on the board of directors of the Englewood Art Center when
we raised the money to expand and build what has become one of
the most vibrant community art centers in the area, now operated
by the Ringling School of Art & Design.
I was chosen as one of ten
North American artists to participate in the first ever outdoor
art festival in Japan, the Yokohama International Open Air Art
Fair in Yokohama, Japan, in October of 2009 and experienced an
amazing cultural exchange that enriched my life immensely.
I teach art to the home schooled children
of three counties. I teach an adult fun art class for beginners
where we experiment with many different medias in the hope of
finding one that feels good to my students so they will continue
to create art. I sponsor many programs in the schools and in
my studio to help keep original art alive and I am
honored to have a scholarship named for me in our local high
school, Lemon Bay High, sponsored by our Rotary Club.
I am currently the Chairman
of the Board of Directors and the Communications Director of
the National Association of Independent Artists, a trade organization
whose mission is to strengthen, improve and promote the artistic,
professional and economic success of artists who exhibit in art
shows. We are committed to integrity, creativity, and the pursuit
of excellence and we advocate for the highest ideals and practices
within all aspects of the art show environment. (www.naia-artists.org)
I spend my summers in Brethren,
Michigan, where I have two cabins and a gallery. I teach summer
art classes all over the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay area in
Northern Michigan where I also participate in a few outdoor art
festivals. I am lucky that many of my collectors and lifelong
friends from Florida's west coast spend their summers in the
area in large family homes from Petoskey and Charlevoix to Glen
Arbor and Suttons Bay.
I am 59 years old, I am
well traveled and I've raised three sons and have four grandchildren.
I have been a working artist my entire life and I have an enormous
amount of life experience that I am proud to share. I am well
spoken and I am not at all afraid to speak in public. I've seen
the early years of the art show movement, and with 42 years of
outdoor art shows under my belt, I'm pretty sure I could win
Survivor if they'd just let me play because I know I can build
a dry shelter with my eyes shut. I've experienced the ups and
downs of the economy over the years and I have struggled to stay
the course, maintaining good work ethics and standards along
the way. I believe that art is important in every day life and
I strive to continue the adventure.