"The first memory of being fascinated with drawing came from a "How to Draw Horses" book at the age of five. I remember it illustrated laying down the basic shapes of the horses head with circles, rectangles and other shapes. You could then start into the detail, after the basics had been drawn, comfortable in knowing the foundation was strong. To this day I still use those fundamental principles when painting. As previously mentioned, I was hooked on drawing at a very young age. Most other five year olds were making money with Kool-Aid stands. I remember thinking instead, why not an art sale? I don't recall if I sold anything but I had confidence in my drawing at an early age. I loved the interest my artwork received; it kept me motivated to improve.
Our family moved across Montana to Butte when I was entering the fourth grade. Malta, where I had moved from, was a very small town where everyone knew each other; and it was daunting starting in a new school. Luckily our class had a contest for the best book cover. I spent the entire week working on a brown grocery sack which covered the book. I won the contest and a lot of new friends. Another early memory was drawing pictures of Unicorns and Dragons in letters to my girl friends; some of which claim to have those letters with drawings after all these years! In sixth grade I illustrated a Blue Jay that appeared on the cover of a national arts & crafts magazine. As the winner I was awarded fifty dollars, and furthermore received a letter of congratulations from school superintendent. Drawing continued through Junior High and High School. Two great art teachers influenced my life, Mr. Kujawa and Mr. Loewen. Loewen told me I had a talent that I could use the rest of my life and not to waste it. After graduating, I thought about teaching art. A year out of school I started a family and had to work numerous part time jobs to pay the bills - you name it I did it! I had the good fortune of landing a position in graphic design, airbrushing tailgates and helmets, and making signs, finally using my artistic talent. After six years in the sign business I became eager to get into fine art and studio painting. I relocated to Bozeman where I met a good friend and fellow artist Daniel Smith. He was a major influence in my career and helped get me started. Dan generously shared his techniques and taught me the basics of composition. Not only did he instruct me in the fundamentals of painting, he demonstrated a person could make a living producing art and doing what he loves.
Since then I've moved back to be closer to my daughter, working full time as a painter. Computers and design are a fascination of mine. Also, I read a lot of art books and interact with as many artist's as possible, all of which help my painting. I'm thankful each day for the passion God has given me to love art and become a better wildlife painter and person. I hope you to have a passion in life such as this - it's what makes life worth living."