I loved to draw as a child growing up in Vineland, NJ. My mother once told me that I drew so well that I might grow up to become a draftsman. I didn’t know what a draftsman was, but I always suspected it was something mothers wanted their children to become rather than a starving artist. As it turned out, my attention was diverted to music, and I earned degrees in music education and tuba, eventually going on to become a music librarian which led me to my current position at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
During the mid-1990s, I felt an urge to take up art again. I began taking classes in Philadelphia, first at the Fleisher Art Memorial, and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I studied a variety of media including drawing, pastels, oils, watercolor, lithography, and etching. I was fortunate to have encountered many extremely talented and inspiring instructors such as Alyse Bernstein, Stanley Bielen, Giovanni Casadei, James Dupree, Larry Francis, Al Gury, Carolyn Pyfrom, James Toogood, R. Scott Wright, Ted Xaras, and many others
While good portion of my work has centered on still life, the figure, with an occasional foray into the abstract, I found over time that I gravitated to plein air landscape painting in oils. I have had particular success in “quick draw” plein air competitions, due in large part to the realization that painting quickly on a relatively large surface allows me to produce strong compositions in a vibrant style.
I have also developed a sideline in commissioned pet portraits. Even though these are invariably done from photos, my approach is to discover as much as I can about the animal’s personality. My goal is that the finished product becomes a true portrait of the pet, rather than just a painting of a photograph.