For the past few decades I have resided here in Central Florida with my wife and family. Our favorite vacations have been to the beach with its colors shifting from cool morning hues to the warm afternoon glow and then, from Winter to Summer, cool to warm. We found the beach to be a place of renewal, a place of reflection, a place of sanctuary and we enjoyed the recreation as well. In my paintings, I desire to celebrate the beach, the culture of the beach and the activities driven by the beach.
From December of 1974 to December of 1976 I was appointed Lecturer of Painting and Allied Subjects at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. Towards the end of 1975 I served as the Acting Head of the Department of Fine Art until my wife's and my return home to the United States at the end of 1976. In June and July of 2004 my wife, Lori and I were able to return to Kenya leading a medical mission sponsored by our church and hosted by our close friends Art and Mary Ellen Davis, missionaries to the Pokot people. The two experiences were rich in understanding indigenous African peoples and we were also able to view the vast array of animal life in their phenomenal natural habitat. It was a wonderful and indelible experience for artists and provided an incredible opportunity to photograph and experience extraordinary subject matter both up close and personal.
POP Surreal, in my mind’s eye, is a combination of the mundane or banal along with compelling or provocative imagery placed into a dream state. It’s the whimsical, playful and incongruous combination of visual parts, or finding a commonality of components that on the surface appear unrelated. In short, I just want to have fun with otherwise disconnected elements.
The pig paintings were produced while living in Memphis Tennessee. While there, I was struck by how iconic pigs were to the local culture with its homage to barbeque. I made a trip down to the stockyards at Presidents Island and took a lot of photos of hogs. These photos formed the references for the paintings. Isolating the figures or pigs in this case, gives emphasis and visual drama to the subject while maintaining a bit of humor. The paintings are at full scale.
Many of the oil sketches presented here are produced around the parks at Walt Disney World. Early on Friday mornings, a group of us from Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) would meet at one of the parks to produce field sketches typically in oil. After retirement, many of us continued the tradition of painting around Central Florida. The practice of plein air painting has certainly helped me develop skills and build confidence. I enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow artists as well.
This body of work is a product of the twenty-three years with Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) and are a combination of concept, marketing and production illustration. I began producing my concept illustration in digital media in 2003, developing a new skill set. Prior to 2003 I produced my concept work in acrylics and/or watercolor. The billboard and murals, which were completed in oil, span my entire tenure with WDI and most of this work is in or has been in public view primarily in the parks.