I was born in Cheylan, West Virginia and when I was 5, my family moved to Akron, Ohio. My father was an accountant and in addition to his job at Goodyear Tire and Rubber, he found time to start and run Goodyear Musical Theater.
My introduction to Art was through painting, building and designing sets in my father’s theater company. I worked with professional set designers; graphic artists; and scenic artists. My undergraduate and graduate work focused on graphic design, printmaking, painting, and a minor in accounting. While in college, I continued to work in my father’s theater company and began designing sets and backdrops.
I used my art training to teach and continue working as a scenic artist. I was an art instructor and theatrical technical director at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School -1973/1977. In addition to this, I was a scenic artist at EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall in Akron, Ohio – 1973/1975. We did 3 major musical productions and had our sets and backdrops from one of the shows used for a 6 month production run in Las Vegas.
In graduate school, I was the graduate assistant to Dean Henry Lin, the head of the Fine Arts Department at Ohio University. Dean Lin had gotten Ohio University a large endowment for the purpose of building the art collection for the university. My job was to receive the prints and paintings acquired by the university, archival frame them and hang shows of the acquisitions. I handled works from artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Dine, Rauschenberg, Oldenburg, Hockney, etc. Many of these artists had worked as commercial artists and I studied the techniques and images they used to create their art. These works influenced me to want to know more about the commercial production of imagery.
After graduate school, I moved to Houston, Texas in 1979 and worked at Sterling Outdoor Advertising as a pictorial painter on billboards. In addition to painting the pictorial images, I learned lettering techniques from master sign painters. To me, signage is like theatrical presentations – the scale is also similar.
Being a production artist in the theater and sign industry, I learned many trade techniques and methodologies that I currently apply in my work. By painting on re-cycled billboards, I can paint as large as I want, and get a bonus that the paintings are waterproof and can be displayed indoors or outdoors. I have found a wealth of inspirational material in clip art of flowers. I enjoy painting these graphical flowers because I can interpret them in infinite variations, and they still appear as flowers.
My flower paintings are receiving a warm welcome in the art viewing and buying audience. Over the past 3 years, I have created an inventory of art works that I enter into juried competitions and sell. Through galleries and private individuals, I have built a collector base.