There is something about setting up your easel, the warm sun on your back, a slight breeze blowing across the lavender fields and the picturesque view of a mountain top village cascading down in front of you. The bleached limestone rock walls against the faded orange tiled roofs captured a feeling and sparking an emotional desire to be recorded in paint upon the canvas. Such is the feeling you would love to have and convey to the casual observer.
The reality of the process though is often much more visceral, a fight with your inner conscious to capture the moment against the angers of nature. The beating hot sun, blasting gale force winds or the driving rains are more often the norm. Countless times have I forget food, water, or clothing against the elements; all for the sake of an inner force to record my feelings about a visual experience.
For me, painting will always be a journey through life, an exploration, a quest for knowledge and an understanding of the values and colors in nature – an insatiable drive to master the paint stroke and techniques involved in creating a painting. Growing up with a research scientist as a father, I was always taught to question and analyze. Why is the sunlight glistening off the water, why is it the color that it is? Why are the distant hills bluer than the foreground? Through this questioning and answering I learn about the subtleties of the objects I paint.
As I get older the drive becomes stronger to record life’s experiences through paint. A Chinese philosopher one said when asked, “When will you know it all?”…”Never”, was his reply. “When will you do your best painting?”…”The last day before I die.”
My paintings have been displayed in the “Oil Painters of America” show numerous times and in the National Show of 2011 I received the “Animals Award of Excellence”. My paintings have been featured on the cover of “American Artist December 2004 and the cover of “International Artists Magazine” December 2006. Among other things I also received the “Art Times Award” from the Salmagundi Club in New York and the Stobart Foundation Award at the Twenty-third Annual Mystic International.
In 2008 I became a member of the American Society of Marine Artists and then moved up to a signature member in April 2010. Arts for the Parks honored me with the Grand Canyon Purchase Award in 2005, the purchase award in 2004 from the Grand Teton Natural History Association and the Marine Art Award in 2003 and 2006. I also received the Judge’s Choice Award in the Arts for the Parks competition for both the 2000 and 2001 competitions.
I began painting at an early age, first showing my work while still attending high school in Williamsville, New York. In 1981 I graduated from the University of Utah, where for five years I studied portrait and figurative painting under “Alvin Gittins”. Gittins’ ability to render the figure so accurately intrigues and influences me to this day.
In 1981 I moved to Germany to study languages at the Universität Kiel. With Kiel as a home base, I utilized the opportunity to travel and paint throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. While studying at the University of Berlin, I met my wife from Stockholm, Sweden. In 1988 we both moved back to Salt Lake City and now have three children. Every summer we travel back to Sweden, where I will take off to paint a new location in Europe.