I graduated from the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, in Newark, New Jersey in 1968 and won several state and local shows in the early seventies, including 1st place in oils at the Garden State Art Center in 1971, 1st place for Watercolor at the Red Bank Festival of Arts in 1972 and an Honorable Mention in the Emerging Artists exhibit at Rutgers University in 1973. I have had numerous one-man shows in both New Jersey, California and Georgia and has exhibited in many fine galleries as well in California, Scottsdale, Arizona, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Georgia. In 2007, I had a watercolor exhibit at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA called 'Four Corners'. This collection of some 30 plein air watercolors from the southwest were also shown in several other venues that year. In 2008 I had four group shows and in 2009, at the Carrollton Cultural Center in Georgia, I had a large retrospective of some 61 pastels, oils and plein air watercolors, spanning over a 40 year period of paintingon location in some of the countries most beautiful places from 'Coast to Coast', becoming the title of this one man show.
For more than 50 years I have been calling myself an artist. It began on my tenth Christmas in 1957 when my father gave me an oil paint set. I used up some of the colors and all of the canvas boards and needed more supplies. So I began going door to door to sell my paintings for $25 dollars around the block where I lived in Shark River Hills, New Jersey. Someone took pity on me and bought my first painting and that is really all I have wanted to do ever since. I first used watercolor only to make color notations on pencil sketches for oils. I realize that the pencil line inhibited the brush stroke, so gradually I eliminated all pencil drawing and began blocking in large areas of color, isolating the white space, often becoming the paintings focal point.
As a young man, and being inspired by Winslow Homer, one of my first watercolor trips was to his home state of Maine. I remember waiting for over an hour for my paper to dry as I tried to paint on the foggy coastline. Thank goodness Fredrick Remington was also an influence to me inspiring my interest in western landscape and the desert.
This is a fast medium, lending itself to painting on location, demanding a rapid approach. There is nothing like being there, in the moment, capturing the feel of the location. It also helps give the paintings a sense of place that is hard to achieve when working from photographs because the limited tonal range of a photograph cannot match what the human eye can adjust to and see.
An impatient person when I am painting, I love the desert for plein air painting because one does not have to wait long for the water to dry on the paper allowing you to proceed to the next step to achieve a hard edge. In fact a wet into wet technique is a real challenge there. Also, battling time and the elements of wind and sand and having a sense of urgency with constantly changing cloud patterns on the ground offer a real challenge to the artist.
In 1994 I moved from California to Atlanta, Georgia and taught at Bauder College until 2006. I enjoy painting at our local Sope Creek during the Autumn months and realized how much I missed the change of seasons. I have become very active in the past few years, painting more than ever and getting some attention in galleries In Georgia and online. I think the online art galleries are perhaps something that will greatly change the way artists become known. Here everyone is everywhere and people from around the world can see, comment and purchase your work. Now, selling museum quality giclee prints allowing people to have fine art who could never before afford it, well, it's all very exciting.
In recent years I had numerous one man and group shows in the North Georgia area. My wife Suzie (who is also an artist) and I are two of several founding members of GALLERY 4463 in Acworth. I created PLEINAIRARTISTS.NING.COM to give artists all around the globe a platform to share their wonderful work and also founded the NORTH GEORGIA ARTISTS ASSOCIATION. In 2010, I was commissioned to do portraits of all of the outgoing Attorneys General (21 total) which were given as retirement gifts at their respective ceremonies.
I enjoy working in Watercolor, Oils and Pastel. I think the changing back and forth has a positive effect on my work and mental state. One can get burnt out after a while. You notice the number of good pieces to bad ratio change for the worse. I have found that switching mediums is a good way to break that trend and get a fresh breath of energy to move me along. Watercolor techniques are very specific and I find that translating certain things into a different medium is exciting.
I recently did a series of American Wildlife for a show I had in 2012. I did them all in oils, many very large at 40'x60'. This was during the heat of our Georgian summer, down in the coolness of my studio. Now, in the cool winter weather, I paint in my truck doing small pastels of everyday scenes. I needed to restrict myself to the lower elevations in recent years due to COPD which makes it hard to breath in the upper elevations. Because of this, I have decided, after a lifetime of painting the beautiful places that nature has provided us, to switch and do the opposite. I have begun to focus on the everyday urban setting, complete with the cars and streets we see everyday. Even the billboards and telephone lines are part of my art now. I was pleasantly surprised how much fun I am having doing these new subjects. I can now see potential art everywhere and it is liberating. In the spring, I will most likely switch to watercolor to capture the flowering trees.
I am going to keep painting until I can't hold a brush any longer.