Born January 1954 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge region of the Appalachian Mountains to Scotch-Irish parents, I was indoctrinated into the arts and was an active member of the art community. My mother was a nationally noted painter who, together with my arts activist aunt, was responsible for the creation of the first fine art gallery in Wilkes County (which later became an affiliate of the prestigious North Carolina Museum of Art). Some of my most vivid memories are of finger-painting at age 6 with my mother, under the tutelage of Ruth Shaw, the originator of the finger-painting medium. Around this time I exhibited and sold paintings in numerous shows with these women.
While attending local schools, I gleefully missed a lot of classes by drawing posters for various school projects. Studying art at East Carolina University wasn’t exotic enough so, after two years, I went to the Universidad National in Costa Rica to study Pan American and Pre-Columbian art. From Costa Rica, I spent several months traveling to ancient ruins and remote Indian villages throughout the jungles of Latin America. Ultimately, I ended up at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1977. Preferring hands-on graphic art, I turned down a full scholarship in photography from Jack Fulton, a Time Magazine’s photographer of the year, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in printmaking, specializing in Intaglio etching. At that time I concentrated on abstract expressionism, adding mural painting to my repertoire. I completed independent study in Intaglio etching at the University of South Carolina at Aiken by setting up the etching facility there. Later I earned a teaching certificate in art at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. My student teaching was fulfilled in Cawed County, Wales, Great Britain. From Lodge Grass on the Crow Indian Reservation to Pine Creek country school in Paradise Valley, Montana, I’ve presented art classes, mural painting, and joke cracking to hundreds of kids in a score of schools. For 23 years I have lived in Livingston, Montana where I love to roam the mountains, rivers and taverns, often in pursuit of wild game and fish.
Carolina Self Portraits, included in the permanent collection of Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Guest Artist – Smithsonian Institute’s Art Train, 1998
Beginning In 1997 I began a series of original color lithographs each in limited editions of 275 and 25 artist’s proofs. They range from 16 to 24 hand drawn plates each on 100% cotton coventry rag – 290 grams, ball gralned aluminum plates, handschey Ink.