I was born in Granite City, Illinois on August 19, 1982. A few years later my mom, dad, sister and I packed our lives into an RV and we drove out to Scottsdale, Arizona. Where I have lived for the majority of my life.
I grew up skateboarding, racing BMX bikes and listening to music with friends. As a kid, skateboarding was my favorite thing in the world. I loved pushing myself to get better every day and would skate around the clock. To this day I believe my drive to be great at skateboarding instilled me with my current work ethic.
Shortly after graduating high school, I ventured out to California where I gypsied around for a few years. I initially moved to Pacific Beach, where a few high school friends had been living. A few months later the lease expired, and we decided to move to La Jolla, but had a couple weeks until the new apartment was available. So, we took up residence in a friend’s garage near SDSU. We lived in La Jolla for 6 months then made the move a little farther north to Encinitas; each move bringing us closer to the ocean. While in California I worked in the kitchen of a steakhouse and spent my free time skateboarding, surfing and hanging on the beach. But eventually I found my way back to the desert.
Once back in Arizona I made the decision to dedicate my life to art and I began to put together a band; with the intentions of learning how to sing and blending my words with music. Once the band was complete, and we had written enough songs, we began performing in venues throughout the valley. We continued to play and write new music for a few years and later disbanded. This is when I decided to put all of my creative efforts into painting.
As a child I had a natural ability to draw. But I never produced anything more than glorified doodles, with no real composition. Since third grade art class, after learning about artists such as Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso, I had dreamed of being an artist. And I was fortunate to have grown up around working artists such as Philip C. Curtis and Bil Keane. Both were very close friends of my grandparents. I vividly remember all the visits I made with them to Curtis’s studio. I was captivated with seeing a real artist in his workspace. Those memories are ones I draw a lot of inspiration from and made the thought of being an artist feel tangible.
When I first began painting, my style was very surrealistic and usually staged within a western landscape. Over the years my style has remained true but has become more focused on the desert surrounding me, while keeping a mild surrealistic element; what I’ve begun to call “Modern Westerns.” I currently paint 6 nights a week and use a very limited pallet of primary colors, Burnt Umber and a white. I try and push myself to improve with each piece. I do this by making the next painting more difficult than the last, whether it be working on bettering the composition, elaborating on details or execution or color. All with the intention of trying to better produce what I am envisioning in my head.
I have now been painting, strictly with oil, for the past 13 years. And have been exhibiting my work, in various local galleries, for about 11 years. My work is in many private collections across the country, spanning from California to New York. When I am not painting, I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife and I have been married for almost 7 years, we have a 6-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son (my stepson). We love to travel and create memories outside of our busy schedules. I am also an avid golfer and try to play or practice at least once a week. I am continuously pushing myself to be the best I can be in all aspects of my life. And believe anything worth doing is worth over doing