Born in Washington D.C. in 1954, the year Elvis Presley recorded his first record, I am a child of rock and roll. Being part of the original baby boomers, I enjoyed my formative years watching the transformation of this country through the sixties. My immediate peers were heavily involved in music which included being in bands, touring and producing on various levels.
My college education did not result in graduation as my life outside University was becoming more interesting. This is fairly typical of individuals who are more into doing than being told what to do. Many years of making music, producing albums, touring on the road and odd jobs here and there eventually brought me to being a $5 an hour house painter’s helper.
Being ambitious, for the next decade I painted houses and buildings. It was during this period, I came to fully understand how proper use of applications results in a better outcomes. How to best prepare a surface, how different paint products interact with each other, I became an expert painter. My high point was painting a dozen 6 over 6 double hung windows in one day – in other words, an exceptional amount of precision production painting.
Mix this with an innate ability to seek out new connections, I eventually threw in with a group of downtown artists who were renovating buildings in questionable neighborhoods. Each of us had a particular skill, and I was the painter guy. This allowed me to expand my repertoire to include all facets of building – electrical, plumbing, masonry and carpentry. This was fantastic because we were all artists and the rule “it’s art, there are no rules,” made everything a creative experiment.
After a while, watching people create art wasn’t enough for me. So, at some point in 1990 I made my first wooden stretcher, stretched canvas on it and began painting. One of the earliest paintings I did called “A Mile Off the Dry Tortugas” hangs on the wall at the foot my bed. I wake up every morning looking at it.
At this point I can build my own canvas stretchers and do a fair amount of rudimentary framing. My main framer for many years is the incomparable Spencer Zarin in Rockville, Maryland.
Now you have a bit of early context. Inside the Portfolio on my site there are place markers with insights I made along the way. I invite you to keep reading therein.