Bio

 

I was born in 1954 and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As long as I can remember I have been fascinated with visual art and discovered early on that I had the ability to transfer what I saw inside my head on to pen and paper. Visual imagery that is a direct result of thought and emotion is an irresistible force within me. My formal training began in the mid 1960’s at the Allied Arts School in Calgary where I learned such skills as lino cut print making and culminated at the University of Calgary Bachelor of Fine Arts program from 1972 to 1976. There I developed my acute enthusiasm and neurosis under the tutelage of Canadian Artists such as John Hall and Ken Esler. I will never forget my first experience of walking into an Esler class crammed full of farm animals on the loose with instructions to draw them. Try and draw a chicken while it pecks away at your hand holding the pencil!

 

I began producing my images professionally in 1976 and participated in numerous juried exhibitions and group showings such as the Muttart Gallery in Calgary in December of 1981. I have often been asked if there are particular artists that have been an influence on my style and vision. I would have to say that there are many; Cezanne for his powerful strokes, Picasso for his boldness, Dali for his imagination. I admire the sheer drive and emotion that consumed these artists. On a trip to Las Vegas I saw a pastel drawing of a woman by Edouard Manet that literally made me cry. I find that I am drawn to the graphic, linear contrasts of pen and ink in a manner similar to Robert Crumb but the beauty of art is that it is in a constant state of change and evolution. As my career continues to unfold I see myself moving in a direction more abstract and expressive with paint on canvas. I have not done a painting since my university days but I can feel an inner desire to explore new techniques that will stimulate new emotions and intellectual responses.

 

While admiring the work of Canadian Native artist Lawrence Paul it was clear to me that political activism was the motivation behind many of his pieces. It made me ask myself what motivates my creativity? The answer was surprisingly clear and came without hesitation. Many artists are motivated by religion or politics but that is most certainly not the case for me. I am not an activist by any means and do not trust anything man made. My religion is based on mother nature not human nature. A walk in a park is my cathedral. The innocence of nature has much more appeal for me than the agenda of man. The flora and fauna provides me with all the creative stimulation I need. Patterns of leaves, form and shape of flowers, even the movement of these elements captures my creative pulse. I understand the power and emotion of political or religious beliefs and how they can be driving forces for an artist. I respect that passion but my driving force comes from observing, breathing and living nature.   The purity and reliability of nature feeds my visual and emotional needs without complication or disappointment.