I was probably eight years old when I first saw a painting by Salvador Dalî (The Persistence of Memory). I cut it out of the magazine and taped it to my wall, where I studied it with great fascination. I knew then that I wanted to learn to paint and hoped to be able to make my living as an artist one day. It was a great joy then, having spent many years as an artist, to finally be able to visit Sr. Dalîs home in Cadaquez (several years after his death) and his museum in nearby Figeroa, to see his studio and walk among some of his greatest works in person.
I began doing oil paintings in my teens, mostly simple landscapes to earn some pocket money and to learn various painting techniques. I progressed to copies of some of the old masters to learn more advanced techniques (underpaintings, glazes, etc.) and to try to capture the essence of the classical style. I studied every book I could find on painting and was eventually fortunate enough to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I spent many hours in the various galleries
In my travels, I visited numerous galleries and museums where I was able to see many of my favorite artists (Rubens at the Louvre, Bosch at the Prado) and expand my horizons (Asian artists in Hong Kong and Seoul). Ive also been very fortunate to meet many working artists and trade techniques and talk shop. Having met Don Eddy at his Manhattan studio, for example, inspired me to try photorealism using acrylics through an airbrush, employing the same underpainting/transparent layering system that I learned while doing oil paintings.
I was determined from the start to make a living with my art and not have to resort to waiting tables or driving a truck to supplement my income. This led me to work at a custom paint shop in Chicago where I learned hand lettering and airbrush murals on vehicles, in addition to many wall murals, both indoor and out (one over a quarter of an acre of painted surface). I also learned the many techniques of faux finishes, numerous applications of gold leaf, silk screening, glass etching and sandblasted wood designs.
As I worked through many of my painting projects, I took photos as the work progressed. Using the process photos, I wrote magazine articles about the step-by-step process of producing the various works, eventually having more than 50 articles published in a number of magazines, including Artist Magazine, American Artist, Airbrush Action, Signs of the Times, SignCraft and even some German, Italian and Japanese publications.
At the same time, I had entered my artwork in several of the magazines art contests. I won the Airbrush Excellence Competition five years in a row and was made Editor of the magazine, where I began learning the various software programs involved in the publishing industry. I became intrigued with Photoshop in particular, and learned color correction and photo manipulation. My graphic design skills and knowledge of the digital art process later landed me the position of Art Director/Production Manager at the worlds largest producer of pet magazines, in charge of their newly-formed book division, where I was responsible for producing more than 500 books, including the worlds largest series of dog books.
Currently, I am living in Hollywood working as a graphic designer and scenic artist for the film industry. By combining my amateur photography with Photoshop techniques, I have been exploring the digital realm of image creation to make prints available worldwide.