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 Mad Magazine to Leonardo da Vinci’s 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.
Since around 2013 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 in a full range of values.
Creating portraits has always been a part of my artistic expression. I feel a strong connection to the character and emotion of my subjects. Specifically, the playful innocence of a loyal companion. The purity of our dog friends’ smiles can’t be faked. It gives me great joy to try and capture their happiness and share it with you.