Formerly I have been a working cowboy, a high school and college science instructor, an independent environmental regulatory compliance consultant, and a hazardous materials specialist for Sacramento County. I started making art, specifically pen & ink drawings, in 1979; about eight years ago, in 2006, I switched to abstract and impressionistic painting. I started photography in the mid-1980s, stopped after a few years, and then took it up again in 2008. I've been a full-time artist since 2009.
The original inspiration of my passion for art came with an elective course in Aesthetics at Colorado State University in the early '60s. The professor who taught that course stressed over and over: beauty is in the eye of the beholder...100%. Also--- perceptions change with time and events. A good example would be: when Jackson Pollock first started painting his 'drip' or 'pour' pieces, the so-called art experts said that those works looked like 'matted spaghetti'. They deemed them of little or no value. [Google 'Lavender Mist'.] Much later, one of his 'matted spaghetti' pieces sold for millions of dollars. Pollock is recognized as a giant in abstract expressionism. It's all in the eye of the beholder.
My favorite painters are (in no particular order): Charles Russell, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, Perle Fine, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Joan Miro, Franz Kline, Allen Lehman, Paul Klee, Erik von Ploennies, and Maxim Grunin.