My earliest memory of drawing is when I was around seven years old. I received a “How to Draw” book as a gift. I think it was about animals. My first efforts were well received by my family and I was encouraged to keep at it.
Growing up I copied anything that interested me. From Mort Drucker’s caricatures in Mad Magazine to Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings for The Battle of Anghiari and everything in between. National Geographic magazine and photos of rock stars were typical sources of inspiration.
In school I was always known as “the artist” and it was generally accepted that I would become a commercial artist when I grew up. I dreamed of becoming the next Norman Rockwell!
After graduating high school I attended the Art Centre and Bealart programs in Toronto and London, Ontario, respectively. Both schools offered excellent general art programs and instruction. I also met some amazing students and teachers who influenced me more than they know. Also, while I was in Toronto, I saw my first Van Gogh in real life. It made a huge impact on me.
Then I pursued freelance work while holding down regular jobs. I drew portraits, buildings, product brochures, logos, signs, etc. I quickly found out that although these jobs could be an exciting challenge they weren’t always creatively and financially rewarding.
I ended up taking a full-time job in the publishing industry and married my wonderful wife. Creating art slipped from my thoughts as I focused on raising a family and making a living.
Over the past few years the creative spark has returned and grown stronger. Creating art is a regular part of my life now and I am very grateful for it. I can’t imagine living any other way.
I have recently discovered charcoal as a medium. For me it is the perfect balance between drawing and painting techniques and allows me complete freedom to represent realism and abstraction in a full range of values.