As a child I did quite a bit of drawing. I never drew stick people. As long as I can remember I had a story line for the figures. So nothing has changed over the years.
I had a typical Midwestern childhood during the depression. I can remember my teachers suggesting to my parents that I be supplied with all the pencils and paper I needed. While in the fourth grade I had an operation in my mouth that left me with a speech defect. This impediment has plagued me for the rest of my life.
I graduated from a college preparatory school and spent one year in college. I served as a combat photographer in the Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. I loved it and still miss the unique camaraderie of the Corps.
After being discharged I worked miscellaneous vocations in various locations until I ended up in Chicago. The idea was to study at the Chicago Art Institute. Unfortunately I did not have the finances to attend. So I returned to the world of 9 to 5.
I grew in my new employment at a rapid rate. During this time I married my high school sweetheart. After several years I realized that my goals in life had taken a turn in the wrong direction. So I packed up my family, my wife and I had two children by this time, and we left the Chicago area for our home state of Wisconsin.
After trying out several more vocations I took a no brainer employment with the U.S. Postal Service. This position put a roof over the families' heads, food on the table, and a sense of security. It also freed up my mind, finally, to devote some time to my art work.
All these years I had been thinking about the opportunity of painting would some how return. I became a most prolific painter during the period of the nineteen seventies to the early nineteen eighties. I finally was doing something I really liked. And I was ridding my brain of a lot of the things that were bumping around in it.
After a period of time I accumulated a sizable collection of art work. I then took them to a few art fairs in the area, as a test to see what kind of response the public would have to my paintings. Just as I thought, the reaction was either love or dislike. There was no middle ground.
Bolstered by these observations I packed up the album of my paintings and headed for the art galleries in hope of a one man show. I was disappointed to find that the traditional galleries found my work too contemporary and the contemporary galleries thought the paintings too traditional. I did finally hang a couple of works at a contemporary gallery. At the opening of the show a whole lot of pople stood around sipping little drinks and talking what they thought was arty chichat. In reality the words were pure nonsense. Definitely this was not the place for me.
This unpleasant experience and others similar to it, plus a change in priorities began a dry period in my art work. During this time I retired from the Postal Service, one of my better decisions. I managed to earn a degree in culinary arts. I gained knowledge and weight. Meanwhile I sold my house. My wife and I headed for the open road. We followed the seasons until we found the formula for the best in good weather and goods friends. We now winter in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and summer in Wisconsin.
All this time it bothered me that I had these wild ideas going around in my brain and ashamed that I wasn't doing anything about it. So in the spring of two thousand and three with some trepidation and with encouragement from many people.I did complete a painting. And I did another in the spring of two thousand and four. Now I'm getting the old feeling back and the itch to paint is strong again.
I've always hesitated to call myself an artist. I felt that this was a label that might be bestowed on me by those around. Even at that I am reluctant at accepting such a designation. Rather, I regard myself as merely a person who paints.
And I paint what I feel and what I see in my heart, from a slightly different point of view. If I were to describe it, it would be an alternative simplistic view of a single subject. Do not misunderstand me. I would immensely please me if my paintings received some semblance of fame. As for me, I would rather be that invisible person who gave birth to an idea.