I was born and raised in a small town named Fillmore, Utah. This town is right in the middle of the state. Fillmore was once the capital of Utah. Other than that, it’s a fairly unremarkable town.
I moved my family South to the St. George area a long time ago. I’ve been here a while (20+ years), and It’s a wonderful place. My roots run deep down here in the southern end of the state. My grandparents (on both sides) are from old pioneer stock, and it feels like I’m related to just about everyone down here.
Central Utah was a great place to be raise, and my parents are wonderful. I had a fine childhood with two sisters and four brothers. Life was simple then and life was good. There was never a dull moment in my family.
I met my wife Amanda in Fillmore. We got married and soon after headed off to college in Cedar City. I studied fine art and received a talent scholarship from SUSC. While at SUSC, now SUU, I was fortunate enough to take classes from Arlene Braithwaite. She was the person responsible for my scholarship. She also sponsored several art competitions with cash prizes that I won. Arlene is a very talented pastel artist. Her works can be seen all over Utah. She was (and still is) a fantastic teacher.
Another artist instructor I studied under at SUSC, was Mark Bangerter. He was a very talented portrait painter. He never mixed or pushed paint colors around on the canvas. In order to make blended colors and tone, he would use many small individual paint strokes each with a different color and tone that had been mixed on the pallet. It was amazing.
After two years of school, we had a child and were struggling to stay in school, so the decision was made to go to work for an Engineering firm back in Fillmore Utah. Hind sight being 20/20, I wish I had stayed in school and just toughed it out. Family comes first and I felt it needed to be done though.
I worked for 22 years for a Civil Engineering firm. I started at the bottom helping out on the survey crew and wound up as a designer responsible for designing roads, water systems, waste water systems, bike paths, and many other projects. If you live in southern Utah, chances are you’ve driven on a road I designed.
We have four kids; three girls and one boy. All of our kids are now raised and out of the house. The pressure of child rearing is over, and it’s time now for me to pursue my dream of a full time art career. Now I am winning awards for myself instead of some company. My work is my own, and I am enjoying every minute of it. My only regret is that I should have started sooner.
I’ve always felt that artistic ability is a gift you have been given. Talent wasted is a shame. If you can find even one thing that you are good at, and enjoy doing, then life is good.
I noticed my artistic talent fairly early in life. I'd spend countless hours with a graphite pencil and a sketchpad.
I paint in watercolor these days. This is the medium I have chosen as my primary focus. I studied many mediums in college including oils, but for some reason watercolors have stuck in my mind because of the challenge. It is a difficult medium. There is no covering up mistakes or reworking a watercolor. This provides a serious challenge. One that I enjoy very much.
I will always be a student of art, never a master. There is just too much to learn. But in the learning is the enjoyment. If you master something, there is nothing more to learn. How can you enjoy something that doesn’t challenge you? Once you master something… in my mind, then you move on to something else. Watercolors will always be a challenge and I am constantly learning new and wonderful things about the medium.
In my recent works I have been concentrating on transparent watercolor paint. Transparent watercolor paint is just more luminous on the paper. It gives your washes a luminosity that you just can’t get with anything other than transparent watercolor pigments.
I prefer to paint landscapes, rural towns, farm country, and anything old and rusty. The wonderful red rocks of Southern Utah offer a never ending supply of painting opportunities. I also prefer painting in a realistic style, attempting to capture the subject in detail. The challenge of a realistic painting gives me the impetus to keep going and create new works of art.
After a long painting session, when you look at what you have created, there is a feeling of accomplishment that just can’t be compared to anything else.