I moved to Great Falls in October, 2001 and that decision has turned out to be one of the best I ever made. My life has turned around since I came to Great Falls, both personally and artistically. I found the love of my life here as well as a deeper commitment to my art. Great Falls has been a significant turning point for me and I appreciate the gifts that Great Falls has brought my way.
I am a native of Hot Springs, AR. My father was in the military and we moved often during my school years. I was drafted into the U.S. Army in August 1966 and remained on active duty until I retired in 1993. I have a BA in Sociology and a Masters in Public Administration. It was during my military service that I visited Montana for the first time. While vacationing in the Swan Valley and it was then that I gained a lasting impression of mountains, forests and wonderfully clear rivers and lakes.
My first paints and brushes were purchased after I had retired from the military. I was at loose ends and decided I could not put off any longer the need to satisfy my curiosity about painting. I had always had an interest in the method of expression called landscape painting, but I had found a million reasons why I couldn’t give it a try. The freedom of retirement eliminated all those reasons and I took the plunge. A class at the local community college opened my eyes a bit and showed me the complexities of artistic expression. I also was reminded again, that not all artists are cut out to be teachers and after my first classroom experience I went my own way and to the end I am largely self taught.
Even though I had owned painting equipment for over eight years I do not consider my artistic career to have taken many steps forward until I came to Great Falls. I feel that my artistic career has reached a new plateau since moving here and I expect others to follow. I continue to work at developing my “artistic vocabulary” and with practice; I hope to become better at expressing myself through my art. I am a member, in good standing, of the Montana Painters Alliance.