About the Artist
Art is a way I can express myself. It stirs my emotions. I strive for a job well done, a product I’m proud of. I like to push the medium, the image, or myself in a way that makes me feel that I’ve gone a bit further with my abilities.
My love of art is as old as my memories. I grew up in a family of seven children, the artist of the family. Although born in Alaska, we moved to Salem, Oregon when I was four. Salem has been my home ever since. I remember drawing in grade school and seeing the effect my skill had on my classmates. It was a different way to communicate.
Later in high school, I found I had a natural talent for doing things with my hands . . . not only art, but also solving puzzles. Inventing is important to me. I see art and invention as two sides of a coin.
After high school I became a steel worker, a good job to put food on the table and roof over the family’s head. I was a fitter, responsible for piecing together the puzzle of whatever form we created. It was hard work that taught me precision and patience.
Even with the work of being a father and a full time welder, I found time to attend evening art classes where I was able to nurture the artist within and surround myself with fellow artists. Art has never been narrow for me. I work in acrylics or pastels, wood or rock, clay or glass, wire or bronze. One thing I love about art is the versatility.
In 2001, both boys had graduated and were off on their own adventures. My wife and I took a deep breath, a leap of faith, and decided I would return to school and turn my hobby into my life. College, full time, was an awakening experience for me. Teachers were positive influences, challenging me with new vocabulary, concepts, and attitudes about art. I was able to share my skills with Chemeketa as well. The art teachers hired me to weld specialty tables, racks, and carts for their programs.
I am at present a full time artist and part of a drawing group which meets weekly in Salem. I see beauty in curves, and twists, shadow and light. I get the greatest pleasure of capturing the topography of an arm or the waves in hair, the face of a sleeping child, even the texture of an elephant’s ear.
Next challenge for me…a series of hands. (I carry the model with me all the time.) Yet, these are not life sized, but 26” from finger to elbow, in porcelain, wire, and bronze.
It is not only the projects, but the process that brings such enjoyment. I sit under the tree in the back yard and work on my sculpture. I work for hours in my shop with the torch, swirling hot glass. I can work anywhere. The bigger mess around me the better. I take pride in a job well done, in stretching my skills.
“Creation is the artist’s true function; where there is no creation there is no art.”-Matisse