I never chose my career in art, " it chose me." As a child I started drawing as soon as I knew what a pencil was and spent hours at the dining room table sketching subjects and scenes from my childhood imagination. During my elementary and high school years, it was art class that held the greatest interest for me. While some classmates found art to be difficult or boring, I knew it was where I belonged, a place where I felt comfortable and in complete control. To top it off, it was just plain fun! Even at that young age there was no doubt in my mind that art would be my lifelong pursuit.
I grew up on a farm and, although I didn't realize it at the time, the intimate exposure to nature I experienced in those years helped to forge my interest in nature. After graduating from high school I enrolled in The College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota where I received a formal education in commercial art and illustration. To further my education, I spent several years studying with nationally acclaimed portrait artist Richard Lack at Atelier Lack School of Classical Realism in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of the techniques used by the Old Masters in painting the human form.
The first twenty plus years of my career were spent, primarily, as an award-winning freelance illustrator with a variety of clients such as advertising agencies and studios. Many of my illustration projects included people, so portraiture became a natural part of my repertoire. During this time I also developed a specialty for illustrating animals. When computer technology began to change the commercial art field, I decided to move in the direction of fine art and concentrate on the subjects that interested me the most: nature, wildlife and portraiture.
To better know my subjects I've traveled across the country, spending hundreds of hours photographing wildlife and wilderness landscapes as reference for my work, always striving to capture that perfect sunrise or intense late afternoon sun that will add drama and realism to a painting and provide an authentic environment for animals. I've also made considerable effort to observe and learn about each animal I paint so that I can capture the character and behavior that is accurate for the species.