Born in 1928, mine was a Wisconsin childhood, rich in a countryside whose marshes and pastures still occasionally crop up in my work.
Painting only arrived in the 1970’s when, living near San Francisco, the materials themselves called out and my fingers itched to get hold of them. The high horizons and rimrock typical of the West can still be the first thing to climb onto my canvases.
During the 1970’s, the Bay Area was awake and erupting with an energy that entered my work and has never left. With it came jazz and soul, especially Soul.
Back in the Midwest, now in Indianapolis, I graduated from Herron School of Art in 1981, taught a bit at Herron, then moved on into exploring the many new approaches to teaching open to Master Artists with VSA International. This is an exciting organization, with which I continue to work.
Phil O’Malley, my studio partner and fellow artist, is a writer as well as a painter, so we couldn’t help but collaborate on writing and publishing a children’s picture book, Who Makes the Sun Rise?. The book then had to be shared with kids, of course, and led right into an art and literacy program, known as “Something to Crow About.” Both the book and the program now have a life of their own.
While as a family we zigzagged across the country, the State of Maine, especially the cottage on Frenchman Bay which my grandfather found in 1919, has been a continuing home. Although “the Warehouse” in Indianapolis remains the primary studio, I camp out here in Maine in a smaller, very handy space where the fingers still itch to get hold of the materials.