Born 1946 in Houston, Texas and that meant that I had the benefits of coming of age during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, action painting, Op, Pop, minimalism, conceptualism, the works but none of that had the impact upon me that Andrew Wyeth’s masterpiece, ‘Christina’s World’ delivered. Resting comfortably within that technically superb painting was the sort of surreal juxtapositions of objects and figure that made me want to communicate in that same manner. Not that I didn’t like the work of Barnet Newman, Joan Mitchell or Jackson Pollock but I didn’t enjoy the cold intellectualism that surrounded the abstract, and maybe there was a feeling of The Emperor’s New Clothes that I got from the criticism of the times. So, I took a degree in Commercial Art and set out to paint in the style of the great illustrators. 

However, commercial work required the auspices of a committee to make all decisions regarding subject matter and even message. In my last week of classes, my most influential professor, William Kolbe took me aside and explained that I’d never be happy under such control and with that, I understood that I needed to go back to the very basics of painting and work toward what would please me. In that same year, I married Martha Susan Black and we took our meager monies to Europe where there was art that I’d only known in printed matter.
Coming to face the works in the Louvre, the Prado or the Tate showed me two things. One was that I knew almost nothing about painting and the other was that I felt that I could do as well if I set down to do it, and so we returned home. Our lives became structured around Martha pursuing her career and me staying home to paint and be house dad to our daughter, Virginia Anne.
Having the material and more importantly, the spiritual support from Martha allowed me to forget trying to place myself into a comfortable niche, somewhere in the world of art. There was some success in this, a solo show at a Houston gallery and modest sales but there was also the lure of the works that I’d not seen in Europe. So, we took off again and stopped on the way in NYC where I found that nobody wanted to even see figurative paintings, certainly no nudes and there was an apprenticeship of gallery association that would eventually lead me to the top of the list of painters, once I readjusted my ‘style’. However, I met the extremely affable fellow, Ward Jackson, then director at the Guggenheim. While no one else would bother, he took the better part of an afternoon to look at my work and counseled me to continue what I was doing and told me that Paris would be the place to do it.
Paris was all that it can be and my work found acceptance, a solo show, some good reviews and more art to study. Of course, there are always issues of visas, overstayed welcomes and forced return to home to recharge the bank account. However, we eventually found ourselves back in Paris, then in England on the Welsh border and down to Spain; always following the art and sometimes the better exchange rates for the dollar.
This also meant that I’d almost totally removed myself from anything like the mainstream. However, it was in Paris that I found the little book on the works of Egon Schiele, by Dr. Alessandra Comini, the professor emeritus at SMU. Schiele hit me like a thunderclap. Here was this consummate painter who treated art much in the way that I was trying to do. His subject matter offended many, his behavior was anathema to his peers and countrymen but more importantly, he painted women in the manner that, in my mind was precisely the way they should be seen: wonderful in their being and sublime in their presence.

So, nearly ten years after leaving art school, I was finally comfortable with what I was doing. Soon, we moved to Oaxaca, Mexico and a year and a half of what can be best described as color saturation that filled in more gaps in my understanding of art and how it serves people.
This last twenty five years has been spent in the gradual evolution of becoming the painter that I am today. It has been a most satisfying life and filled with meeting very interesting people of diverse backgrounds, a phenomenon that occurs often within the art world. My work has taken on a sort of life of its own. Few pieces are planned and all of them grow within the confines of what is suggested on the canvas rather than my own personal dictum.
Is this work any good? Perhaps. There are those who over the years have collected my art, there are those who have offered places to stay and to paint uninterrupted by outside pressures of hustling the rent and food money. In fact, one could say that it is the impact of my work on others that has kept this activity going. As a painter, one is totally aware that there are far more pressures working against a life in art than there are to support it. Every day is a blessing.

Artist Bio - How Did I Get Here?