I was born and grew
up in Oxford, North Carolina; attended University of North
Carolina briefly before graduating with a degree from Art
Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. I enjoyed
a successful illustration career of 31 years before attempting
to become a full-time historical painter. I suppose I was
ready to choose my own subject matter; to paint something
that wasn't an art director's idea to help sell a product.
I had really enjoyed working with the book division of The
National Geographic Society, where I learned their belief
in going the extra mile to be sure, through research, that
the art work is as correct as possible — that it will
stand the test of time. I liked that maybe my art could have
more meaning than it had all those years in advertising.
Since I live in
Western Pennsylvania, how could I not be enthusiastic about
the aura radiating from the rocks and rivers that witnessed
the 21 year old George Washington, his scout and interpreters,
and the natives that stalked them. Right here in my backyard,
so to speak, so much has happened that influenced the course
of a developing America of the 18th century. How could I not
want to paint it? In 1994, I began.