Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, I was greatly influenced by the urban living environment, b&w television, family values and principles of living in close proximity of neighbors. Saturday mornings were spent taking art classes at the Dayton Art Institute learning drawing and painting fundamentals. After classes, I found myself walking to downtown and catching the trolley bus that would drop me off at my street in Walnut Hills.
After our family relocated to Lebanon, during the summer of 1968, my perspectives drastically changed. Living in the tiny historical town was quite an adjustment. Now, the openness of space and the values of faith became the greater influences in my work.
Mastering the fundamentals of technique, media and purpose of presentation began with the insights of Miss Phyllis Sickles, my 7th grade art teacher - Lincoln Elementary, Dayton, Ohio.
Once established in Lebanon High School's art department, Gene Chute demonstrated the benefits of studying art history and the great masters; their purpose and the significance of their contribution to the artists of today. This love of art history expanded through the passion and personalities of Sidney Larson and Tom Watson, my beloved professors from Columbia College, Missouri.
Recently, I have been reflecting on those artists who have inspired me and have challenged my resolve to become an artist with meaning. Rubens, Renior and VanGogh have exposed the power of emotion as a key to the 'secret garden' from which my best work is generated. Contemporarily, N.C. Wyeth, Marc Bohne and Chuck Marshall have unknowingly contributed to my understanding of composition, atmospheric perspective and an uplifting approach that defines fine art in America today.