By the time I entered high school I was quite developed in rendering in black and white with pencil, charcoal and ink. I used color less often but did experiment in pastels and watercolor. My strengths appeared to be realism and making pictures that looked like photographs. The technical aspect of that came easily to me. I had yet to learn all of the other elements that give a work of art its charm, poetry, creativity, expression, style and overall charisma. The next 50 years of my life was a learning process that sent me in search of the answers to what gives a work of art its mystery.
In 1986 I relocated to Los Angeles from New Jersey. At the time I was working as a creative director for retail publications but never lost sight of my desire to be a fine artist. In just a few short years of moving to Los Angeles I left the publishing business and set up my own portrait and mural company. Between 1974 and 2001 my portraits had been accepted into juried shows in New York City, New Jersey and Los Angeles. I was a member of the California Art Club, Los Angeles Art Association and Gallery 825. My portrait work hung in the hallways of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Rental and Sales Gallery for the enjoyment of the gallery staff who chose to hang it themselves. I was commissioned to paint hundreds of portraits including such notable clientele as Jo Marie Payton of the TV Series “Family Matters” Dick O’Neill, noted actor of the TV series “Cagney and Lacy”, along with Glynn Turman, actor Joseph Caligiuri, retiring CEO of The Litton Corporation; William Bailey, retiring Chief of the Sheriff’s Department and David and Elaine Marmel who produce the Mrs. America Pageant. The mural projects I have designed and produced include 'The Story of Water', sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District in conjunction with 30 art students from Woodrow Wilson High School and a Veteran themed mural in the Lynwood County Jail sponsored by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and assisted by13 veteran inmates.
Currently I am part of a company that is painting a mural in The Misfit Organic Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA. I’m part of the design team and I’m painting the figures and the other artist is painting the landscapes. This collaborative project is very close to my heart because the subject of the mural is inspired by the American Impressionist Illustrators of the 1930’s including Howard Chandler Christy that painted the murals in the Cafe de Artistes in New York City. The images are of young innocent women frolicking in the woods and secluded streams and ponds. Lots of fun, excitement and major challenges of painting nearly 1000 square feet eighteen feet up in the air plus 9 feet high to the ceiling. Being up on the scaffolding and using a scissor lift to hoist me up there has provided many humorous moments and lively conversation.
Portraits have always been my first love and they will be my last. I also enjoy landscape and still life and love to incorporate one of both into the portrait I am painting. One of my favorite paintings, “The Boating Party” by Renoir includes all three genres, portrait, landscape and still life in the most delightful way. The most wonderful light of the outdoors when it plays across the features of someones face and garment provides a truly fascinating complexity of color, form, structure and depth of field. There is also something to be said for the portrait with the simple environment of a single color story. The face tells it all, the expression draws the viewer in and suddenly we know that person. We are alone with them one on one when our private thoughts are interrupted by the realization that we are the only one in the conversation. We walk away with a new awareness of ourselves. A great portrait does that and more for the viewer.