I enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school at eighteen. It was 1972, I had no interest in going to college at that time, my draft number was 9, and I was most likely headed to Vietnam. I had loved air planes since childhood, so joining the Air Force seemed my logical next move. After my discharge from the service I returned to Atlanta where I worked a variety of jobs during the day and attended college at night.
It was around this time that I discovered Soaring. All it took was one introductory flight and I was hooked. For the better part of the following year I spent most of my weekends, weather permitting, flying sailplanes. The lure of aviation ultimately became so strong that I decided to put my academic endeavors on hold, and entered technical school. Two years later I was a licensed aircraft mechanic working at a local airport. Aviation was an all consuming passion for me, yet between working on aircraft, flying and a short lived affair with skydiving, I still found time to paint the occasional watercolor, or illuminate a letter to a friend.
At the end of a particularly cold winter, spent working in an unheated hangar, I found myself tempted to change careers when the father of a friend, who owned a graphic design company, offered me a job as a paste up artist. The idea of working in any sort of art related business was impossible to resist, so I made the decision to mothball my tools, and accept his offer. I gave my notice at the airport and a two weeks later I was sitting at a drafting table working as an “artist”.
A couple of years after that a chance reunion with my high school friend Michel Valin led to employment, and eventual partnership, in his typesetting/graphic design company. It was a great job but sadly, towards the end of our sixth year of operation, the growing popularity of desktop publishing had taken such a heavy toll on our business that we reluctantly agreed to close our shop. In the year that followed I worked for a number of design firms on a salaried, and freelance basis.
Ready to give up the freelance life for a “stable” job with a regular paycheck, I made the decision to follow in the footsteps of my wife Karen, who at the time was working as a registered nurse. A year of prerequisite classes and two, very tough, years of nursing school later, I was working as an RN.
My nursing career began in the ER, but I eventually moved to the operating room. I had been working as a nurse for ten years when our friends Jeff and Leslie Cohen told Karen and I how they had begun to sell their artwork via the internet. Excited by the prospect Karen and I decided to give it a try ourselves, and quickly discovered it was possible. The following year was spent working days in the OR, and painting at night and on weekends. By the close of that year I had been accepted into my first gallery. The income from that gallery, combined with my internet sales had reached a point that I felt confident to take the leap and begin to paint full-time.
That was nearly fifteen years ago. I am currently represented by four fine art galleries in the United States, and my work is in numerous private and corporate collections here in the U.S. and abroad.