Both my grandmother and mother are credited for nurturing my artistic beginnings. I was always inspired by their nods of approval when shown my pencil drawings of comic characters from the newspaper, or the fruit on the kitchen table. As always, I could hardly wait to start another drawing and see their sweet smiles and hear their kind words of approval. After winning 2nd place in a school wide art competition at Golden Gate grammar school in San Francisco, it was on.
After my completion of honorable service with the 11th Air Assault Division, U.S. Army, Infantry in 1965, my childhood quest for artistic expression begin to materialize in earnest a few years later. Exhibitions have been many and rewards have been welcome. Most of all however, the experience has been one of commitment and personal satisfacton.
Art is my way of communicating visually and colorfully, and of course, to entertain as in music, as in literature, as in theatre. A serious artist is always motivated by the need to interpret and to demonstrate. Art is my chosen path.
Stroman Sterling ENT Art Studio, represented by Martha Sterling and myself, comprises a fine collection of painting and drawings complimenting African American culture and heritage. In addition, we have a rounded sampling of contemporary fine art including drawings, plein air, and stills.
During more than three decades the majority of my work has been shown in the San Francisco bay area. A notable acquaintance in this region back in the 80's and 90's was the late Mr. Roy Saunders, owner of the Grand Oak Gallery in Oakland . My work was shown frequently there during this period.
In the early years of my career I worked full time to meet expenses while accepting commissions, mostly for portraits. Some how I managed to squeeze in some college courses as time would allow. Color dynamics, advance and intermediate figure composition, drawing, and art history were some of the curriculums studied under David Bradford, Helmutt Schitt, and Rip Matteson.
I received my college degree in Arts and Humanities, with honors, from Laney College, Oakland California in 1997. As I walked across the stage at graduation, one of the faculty members said softly, 'finally'. It had taken me 13 years, a step at a time, to reach that moment, despite a multitude of external obligations and distractions. I never missed a semester and I never failed a course. My GPA was 3.5. I have always considered my Associates Degree the equivalent of someone else's Masters, for a number of reasons. But, that's another story.
Overall, I have contributed my talents freely to youth and senior art instruction and have participated in many art exhibits, in addition to the creation of fine art since 1975.
When asked to describe my artistic approach and style, I simply reply, 'old school will do just fine'.