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When did you know that you wanted to be a professional artist?
"As early as I can remember, there was no question that I always wanted to be an artist. I sold my first artwork at age six. Some say it is a God-given 'talent'. I believe that it is more like a God-given 'passion.' It is an irresistible calling and discipline to want to create the best artwork that you can and live a life of exploration and reflection. It is truly a life-long journey. Each brush stroke cultivates and renews the spirit with excitement and gratification. The result is the design and creation of works of art that bring non-verbal inspiration and encouragement to humanity. I am happy to share my passion and journey with you."
How long does it take to create a work of art?
"It first takes the time, experience, and discipline necessary to develop the knowledge to have the intuitive ability to express skill and emotion in each brushstroke. So that can be considered as a lifetime. After that, it’s a calculated amount of time working on a specific art piece. One of my mentors, artist David Millard taught me to document every hour starting in 1996."
From where do you get your inspiration to create your art?
"I love the act of painting, feeling the paint on the brush as it is applied to the canvas or paper, and seeing the results of what is envisioned being manifested with my emotions and thoughts. It means so much to me that what I create inspires others too, brightens their day and brings comfort in a world often filled with hardships.
I have an innate longing to be immersed in beautiful natural or historical settings. I grew up on a horse ranch in an isolated and somewhat desolate atmosphere on the plains of Texas, devoid of nature- just flat dirt, sky, and a little bit of grass and trees if they could survive. The weather on the dusty plains can also be harsh and unrelenting, with continual windstorms and tornadoes. I remember the chores necessary for maintaining the ranch and working with the horses as simply a lot of hard work. I did find beauty and inspiration in the horses, cloud formations and beautiful sunsets while growing up there.
Inspiration was overwhelmingly abundant on my trips to New Mexico and Colorado, a dramatic contrast from where I lived. All of these factors created a longing in my very core to experience and paint the beauty of our world. Many artists have emphasized the importance of travel, learning, and gaining experiences to help with your artistic development. It is true. All of that fueled my passion to live a life of exploration and learning. Whenever possible I have lived and painted remotely in amazing locations from the Rocky Mountains to beautiful beaches. I love being in these environments hiking, biking, fly-fishing, kayaking, surfing, and extreme skiing, always studying nature as the great teacher. In 1994, I even survived an avalanche that destroyed my Crested Butte mountain studio while I was in it. I was left temporarily homeless, so I purchased a 34’ motor home and converted it into my 'traveling studio'. From 1994-2000 I explored and researched America’s beautiful landscapes and prominent universities. I had a great staff at my gallery, so I would just pick a place to go live and paint there for the rest of the year. I also find great inspiration at museums around the world. It is therapeutic study. I am constantly visiting them to understand how other artists have represented the same subject matter. I am fortunate to already have a lifetime of experiences, reference material, and opportunities to learn directly from some of the world’s best artists, and I feel that in some ways, I am just getting started."