I was born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and many of my first landscape impressions came to me during countless hikes in the woods as a kid. Untold hours were spent exploring the woods, among the tall poplars and pines of North Carolina. During those same years I discovered my mom's sketchbooks and paintings, most dating from the 1970's, and I began to copy many of the drawings found there. I even won several drawing awards in primary school. Later, I was also fortunate to meet a high school teacher who encouraged my love of drawing after seeing my copies of Michelangelo's works.
Sometime later I had a revelatory discovery of the works of Vincent Van Gogh. It is hard to describe all the feelings that rushed through me when I found his paintings in books – but there was something primal and beautiful that emerged through his use of thick paint and bright color. Van Gogh had reached something that burned in me as well, and it would – in time, only require practice and experience to bring to life.
I kept on drawing and painting during my years at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and it was during that time that I made my first major sales of my work. A handful of professors, among them DrAugustinQuilici, encouraged my experiments by critiquing my works and buying those they liked. One fortunate day, DrQuiliciled me to his office because he insisted that I should see the paintings of his cousin, the famous French Artist Jean-Claude Quilici. Jean-Claude Quilici's paintings came to me like a bolt from the sky. Here was shown to me the twin pillars of my inspiration, Jean-Claude Quilici and Vincent Van Gogh. Both painters of texture, both were lovers of color. In my mind, those two artists were merged, and I set out to become that ‘merged' artist. I was fortunate to visit Jean-Claude Quilici in 1996 in Paris, France, and to see some of the most beautiful works I'd yet come across. He welcomed me warmly, and we have been good friends ever since. In addition to spending time with Quilici, I was lucky enough to get to visit many of the sites in Southern France – sites painted by Cezanne, Van Gogh, and many others. I spent six very valuable months in Aix-en Provence France, and I treasure the experience.
After college I spent four years living in New Zealand, and continued my work by painting the New Zealand landscape. In early 2003 one of my works was purchased for display in the Sebel Suites Hotel, in Auckland. Upon my return to the United States, we relocated to the Southwest, spending time in New Mexico and Arizona. The stylistic discoveries made in my work in New Zealand were integrated into my first Southwestern landscapes.
In 2003 my work was picked up for representation in one of Tucson's finest art galleries, and in 2005 I made my first break into the national art scene with my appearance in Southwest Art Magazine's '21 Under 31' young artist issue. Excellent sales and accolades continued and were followed by a feature in Oro Valley Magazine, as well as 2007 features in Tucson Home Magazine and again in Southwest Art Magazine – this time in their "Best of the West" section. In May of 2010 I was awarded the "Rising Star Award" from Lenoir-RhyneUnversity, for my contribution to the arts, and my work is to be featured in the March 2011 issue of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine.
Stylistically, the most accurate thing that I could say about my work is that it represents a fusion between the things that I see, and the things that I feel. Nature is my model, but this model is followed only up to a certain point, and then my own color and form sensations take over, finishing out the canvas. I make no pretentions to realism. The painters that I most admired were ones which infused their work with a quality of personal expression. Among my favorite painters are Jean-Claude Quilici, Vincent Van Gogh, Gary-Ernest Smith, Jackson Pollock, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Mark Daniels, Ken Voss, Lucien Freud, Michelangelo (who was, of course, an amazing sculptor as well as painter), and the architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Gaudi.
My future plans involved continued travel, both within the U.S. and internationally, as well as the diversification of much of my subject matter. I've spent time in places like France, New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Canada, and countless parts of America – and I hope to absorb and translate onto canvas as many of the beautiful scenes in the world as I can. I remember the line from one of Darwin's books that referred to the natural world as "Endless forms most beautiful", and to my mind, these endless forms form the roots of a limitless expanse of artistic possibilities.
Lenoir-Rhyne College Alumni Rising Star Award, 2010
Maggie\'s Gallery, Elkin, NC 1994
Dripp\'s Coffeehouse, Featured Artist, Hickory, NC 1998
Pictures & Frames, Browns Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, 1999
Art of this World, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand, 1999
Art Mystique, Tucson, AZ 2003
Tohono Chul Park, Old Pueblo Exhibit, Tucson, AZ 2003
Rosequist Galleries, Tucson, AZ 2003
"Desert Vistas" Exhibit, Joel Valdez Main Library, Tucson, AZ 2004
Rosequist Galleries, Tucson, AZ 2004
The International School of Tucson, AZ 2005
Rosequist Galleries, Tucson, AZ 2005
Lisan Gallery of Art, West St.Paul, MN 2006
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2005
The MaxGallery, Tucson, AZ 2005
The Solo Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC 2005
The Max Gallery, Tucson, AZ 2006
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2006
The Solo Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC 2006
The Max Gallery, Tucson, AZ 2007
Wild Holly Gallery, Carefree, AZ 2007
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2007
The Solo Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC 2007
The Max Gallery, Tucson, AZ 2008
LeKAE Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 2008
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2008
The Solo Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC 2008
Wild Holly Gallery, Carefree, AZ 2008
Marshall-LeKAE Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 2009
One Man Show, The Max Gallery, Tucson, AZ January, 2009
Tansey Gallery, Tucson, AZ 2009
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2009
Marshall-LeKAE Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 2010
Tansey Gallery, Tucson, AZ 2010
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2010
Jane Hamilton Fine Arts, Tucson, AZ 2010
Marshall-LeKAE Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 2011
Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery, Tubac, AZ 2011
Jane Hamilton Fine Arts, Tucson, AZ 2011
Magazine and TV Features:
KOLD News Tucson, on air feature for the "Desert Vistas" exhibit, 2004
Southwest Art Magazine, "21 Under 31" young artists issue, featured artist.
Oro Valley Magazine, July 2006, feature article.
Tucson Home Magazine, February 2007 feature in the "3 of a Kind" artist series.
Southwest Art Magazine "Best of the West" feature, November 2007.
Featured in a photo essay in the ArizonaRepublic for the ScottsdaleArtwalk, July 2010
Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine, Artist Feature, March 2011