I have always liked to draw and work with my hands to create things. My father would take me fishing and I would end up drawing or skipping stones on the water. My papers in grade school would have drawings in the margin or the bottom of the page, usually of Flying Tiger P-40 aircraft in dogfights with other aircraft. I remember one teacher bringing in flowers for the class to draw, it must have been my first still life drawing. There wasn’t much art activity in a small southern Colorado town for a young person, but there was a bookstore near my house and I bought every art book I could and still have a few of them today. After entering college my art experience expanded and I was exposed to a multitude of new mediums, tools and art history. I wanted to try everything.
After graduation from college in 1960, I moved to the East Coast and taught art for a year in Long Branch New Jersey where I explored various museums, traveled the North East and Canada. I started Grad School in 1962 and was hired to teach in Aurora schools at North Junior High for a year until Hinkley High School was opened. I taught there for the majority of my career of 32 years with some part time work at other schools. During the time I was teaching I joined the military again, this time it was the Air Force, after having served time in the artillery with the army. I was a graphics specialist which meant that I did everything from painting “closed” on a sign to designing nose art for pilots to display on their aircraft. Some of my art work is worth millions of dollars if you include the price of the aircraft it was painted on.
After I retired I wanted to continue working with my hands and I started a small business building model ships in 1/700 scale. The business, Loose Cannon West, made small resin ship kits that sold to ship modelers around the world. It was a great experience, creating ship models, learning nautical history and meeting friends fro around the world as well as some travel.
My travels include all the states except Arkansas and most of North America. I also was in Germany and Luxembourg with the Air Force. I spent time in China recently and was able to visit Kunming where the Flying Tigers were stationed and it brought back memories of my childhood. China is a beautiful country and there is plenty to paint there which also inspired me to pick up the brush again.
I sold my art work at various galleries in Cherry Creek North, the work consisted of paintings and bronze sculpture. During the Summer I would take graduate classes. I got married, raised a daughter and a son and stopped painting for pleasure. I was blinded 20 years ago in my right eye and stopped all painting till 2 years ago when my son found my watercolors in storage. I have since that time found great pleasure painting again.
I have worked in most mediums except glass and enjoy them but watercolor has always been a favorite. Some of my favorite painters in watercolor are John Marin, Turner and Dong Kingman. I don’t feel that I have a style of painting, I view the subject and render it in a way that appeals to me and that may vary from time to time depending upon my feelings for the subject. I may use ink to enhance the subject or sometimes a simple brush stroke or a drop of paint will work fine. My work is on the miniature side of the spectrum. I didn’t want to waste large sheets of paper after I was blinded in one eye so I started out with 5 x 7 sheets and will eventually increase in size when I am more comfortable. I also find that I like the small size as it is easy to carry if I paint on location.