I paint with a local plein air group.
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Check out englewoodpaintingstudio.com for a schedule of classes if you live in the Sarasota, FL area. I teach classes and workshops all around the area and private lessons in my studio.
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Drawing things, especially animals and people are some of my earliest memories.
My high school art teacher enrolled me in college art courses during my last couple years of high school because I'd outgrown our high school art program — I was a drawing machine — and she was a great teacher. She gave me a love of art and of sharing that passion that’s lasted me a lifetime.
I got my Bachelor's in art from that same college a few years later (Eastern Michigan University) but I never painted while I was there. I wanted to paint the classical realism I was seeing in my art history classes, I liked Caravaggio and Rembrandt. But no one was teaching that at my school in the 80s. So I stuck to the figure drawing classes and got a concentration in that and graphic design.
I had this vague idea then that it would be so cool to paint in that classical realism style but with a modern twist. Twenty years later I would find other painters who agreed but at that time there wasn’t much for us. Schools didn’t offer much training and galleries didn’t offer representation.
In the 80s, abstract art was still very much reigning king and representational painting was out of style. Painting, in general, was out, conceptual art was in, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst were on top of the world. I loved it but not as a medium to work in, so I went into graphic design instead, moved to Atlanta to finish school for art direction, and then went on to NYC where I had a successful career as an art director.
Years later, I discovered John Currin and saw Steven Assael’s Club Kids exhibit and quit my job soon after that. Bored one day, I’d wandered into a little gallery off the street. Assael’s paintings blew my mind, I had never seen anything like them and they changed the direction of my life. At that moment I knew I should’ve trusted my inner voice all along. It was a lesson for me and I’ve tried to do it ever since.
I scrapped my 15-year career and began painting every day. I’ve been in the studio most days since then. I admit I feel very lucky to do what I do, I don't think I could ever get tired of painting and sharing it with others through teaching.