For as far back as I can remember, I've always liked to draw.
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1962 and grew up with my five sisters in the small town of Crafton. Great family. Great friends. Great community. I had a terrific time. My first year of college was at The University of Notre Dame studying Architectural Engineering. That was not so great. After a year off working as a deckhand on the coal barges, I returned to school to study Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. While at RIT, I tried my hand at oil painting for the first time in November of '83. I painted a portrait of one of my beloved heroes; my recently deceased Grandfather. The moment I picked up that brush, it felt like I had been painting my entire life. I was hooked, and my career as a fine artist had begun...
Planting the seeds
In '85, I returned to Pittsburgh, ready to take my hometown by storm. I immersed myself in the local art community, and my success was critically, if not commercially, immediate. I sat on the board of directors of The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, The Pittsburgh Society of Artists, and The Pittsburgh Center For The Arts. I exhibited regularly in group and solo gallery exhibits. By '89, it was time to test the waters in other markets, so I moved to New Haven, CT. It was to be my hub exploring all the active east coast venues for the next 5 years. While my NYC and Boston gallery pursuits were largely unproductive, my voice and vision as an oil painter grew exponentially.
Language oil on canvas
My next stop was Nashville, TN where my work focused on portrait commissions and my growing interest in the relationship between music and visual art. While there, I met my wife, Dorothy. We visited her old home in her native Vermont and knew immediately that was where we both belonged.
In 2001, we purchased and restored a beautiful 1860 Victorian house in the historic village of Brandon that we now call home. On the property sits a 19th century post and beam barn that we converted into the studio of my dreams. Finally firmly rooted, I began to fully understand the nature and purpose of my artistic journey.
My studio in Brandon, Vermont
After 20 years as an oil painter, I realized that my current body of work would require a new medium.
I was creating the visual equivalent of music and lyrics, so I needed to find a method of work that was as fluid as the dance unfolding before my eyes.
I found my answer in digital tools. I was still painting, but now my canvas was a computer monitor and my paintbrush was a tablet and stylus. My painting was no longer the strategic chess match required of oils. It was a dialogue with the Muse; listening, responding, executing in real time, creating at the speed of thought. My working process now mirrored the dance of the artwork, and thus I christened my newly developing methodology Visual Choreography.
Coppelia original pigment print
When asked to describe my art, it is difficult to find accurate words; I do not fit neatly into any isms. My goal is to create a new language specific to the values I wish to communicate.
My approach is not to blur the edges of realism or sharpen the focus of abstraction, but to create a common ground where the two can meet; not as opponents coerced into an uneasy balance, but as equal partners singing a new song with one voice.