About the Artist
My mother was an artist who was trained in fashion design and illustration. She worked in New York City for a few years before marrying and moving back to her hometown in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State where she continued to do fashion illustration and advertising for various department stores. As her family grew she started teaching art at the elementary school level.
So the love of art was an intrinsic part of my life growing up. I can remember always doing some sort of art from my earliest years, and eventually went to college to study Fine Art in Buffalo, New York. After graduation I worked as a photo-realist painter and had my work exhibited in the Albright Knox Art Gallery and what is now the Burchfield Penney Art Center. (1)
In addition, I have always been a compulsive doodler of wild designs and characters. At the encouragement of some friends I decided to make use of my creative drawing and photo-realist air brush skills and began working as a commercial illustrator (2). Initially I did product illustration for many local advertising agencies in Buffalo, and also for companies including Fisher Price and Rich Products. Later, I began working as a children’s illustrator, creating imaginative characters for Sports Illustrated for Kids, Disney Digest, 123 Contact, and various other magazines and books. I also illustrated a number of the Garbage Pail Kids bubble gum cards (3), and did a self-promotional illustration that I strongly suspect was the inspiration for the look of the animated film Planet 51. (4)
After many years as a commercial illustrator, I decided to phase out of commercial work because more and more requests were being made for digitally created art. As a person who loves the tactile and sensual aspects of working with paper, pencil, brush and paint, I found the virtual method of art creation unrewarding.
Subsequently I spent a few years painting murals on motorcycles as I was also an enthusiast at that time.(5)
I have also from a young age loved building and playing electric guitars. Eventually I accumulated the tools for a workshop and machine shop and started to build one-of-a-kind guitars that are functional as well as unique works of art. (6) These were designed to subtly reference my appreciation of automotive design from the 1940s through the 1960s, as well as oddball guitar precedents from the 1960s. Although they are enjoyable to design and build, and I have received support and critical attention, it became apparent that I was beginning to become more of a manufacturer than an artist.
As a consequence I started painting on canvas again in 2009, and am happy to have come back full circle to my artistic roots and the hands-on creative process.