|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
How I Became An Artist
Ever since I was
a young child I have loved to draw pictures. Few things pleased me
more than to draw a good picture. I had no plans of becoming an artist.
As far as I knew “artist” was an extinct occupation that only existed
in history books. After all, no one in my family was an artist. No one
I knew of, or their friends, or their parents was an artist. I only
considered it to be a fun thing to do as a minor hobby while I became a
lawyer or businessman or a football playin’racecardriver.
went through school I always loved art class the most. (P.E. was a close
2nd ) Art class always looked great on my report card. My senior year
in high school, the only award I received other than for football was
for art. Even then I had no idea that ‘professional artist’ was a viable
career option for me.
As an undeclared freshman at Stephen F.
Austin University, I continued art classes in earnest. With the
encouragement of my family and my professor, Lance Hunter, I declared
studio art as my major. After a year, I transferred to Lamar
University. I studied under Steve Hodges, Larry Leach, and Jerry
Newman. Steve Hodges had the most influence on me. He is the one that I
consider to be my mentor. He helped me raise my skill to a professional
level. In addition to school, I was working for an arts and crafts
show promoter on the weekends, where I got the idea to sell my
‘homework’ at a local restaurant, where I was also a part time
bartender. This idea worked out great. Everything I hung on the wall
was purchased rather quickly.
In my second year of live figure
drawing, taught by Hodges, he pulled me out of the middle of class and
asked me to go, in his stead, to do live courtroom sketches for the
local ABC news. It was a paying job that was normally his. He could not
go on that particular day so he sent me. Immediately, I drove to the
courthouse and did the drawings. I brought them directly to the
newsroom where they filmed the drawings. I received payment, then went
home and watched my drawings on television that night. This was the day I
realized I was truly meant to be an artist.
From there, I began
focusing my efforts on oil painting portraits under the instruction of
Jerry Newman and Larry Leach. Soon I began to get commissions for oil
painted portraits. It was then that I decided to end my ‘day’ job and
begin my life as a freelance professional artist.
That was 1996,
eleven years ago. Since then I have had hundreds of commissioned
paintings and drawings. I have had solo exhibitions at the Beaumont Art
Museum and The Art Studio Incorporated and in homes of private
collectors. I have a portrait permanently installed at the federal
courthouse in Beaumont, Texas. In addition to portraits, I have been
commissioned to paint landscapes, wildlife, still life, buildings, and
I currently live in Beaumont Texas where I was
born and raised. I paint in a glass walled studio built on the north
side of my house where I live with my beautiful wife Monica and our two
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