Born and raised on the Mississippi in Quincy, Il where many days were spent exploring the shore line picking up drift wood sticks, turtles and frogs. My best friend growing up was older than me so he had access to the family boat and the camp on bay island, provided his grandmother was with us, which was no problem because of her obsession with fishing. I received my BA degree from Western Illinois University in art education, went on to teach in the Quincy public school system for a short time. While attending WIU I worked for a sign shop and became interested in hand lettering. I owned and operated Gem City Sign for many years but after an unfortunate turn of events with a house fire I abandon the little shop and accepted a position with a large sign facility as lead designer and head of the graphics department from which I retired. The “sign shop” days were a gold mine of knowledge that I will always treasure. It taught me so much about layout and design, balance, space, and focal points, the list is endless even though I wasn’t pursuing fine art at the time. As it turned out I was restless and wanted to get back to teaching so I enrolled at our junior college to take a few education courses to renew my teaching certificate. Doing my homework for an acrylic class one night, I discovered that thinned down acrylic paint possessed the same effects as watercolor, well some sort of switch got put in the on possession and I haven’t been right since.
Five years ago I started to attend an open figure drawing class where I met a good friend and he encouraged me to go painting outside(which I did not care for) but we kept at it until I realized that painting in the studio is okay but being out in the elements gave me a sense of challenge. Later discovery of the plein air competitions have fueled the fire and it calls me to task.