acrylic on canvas & ink on yupo
An idyllic childhood in North Topeka transformed before my eyes upon joining the US Marine Corps in the 1960’s.
It was boot camp at Camp Pendleton, then off to Nam assigned to military reconnaissance focused on intelligence gathering. The data’s criticality created the sense of intense duty, reinforcing the importance of analytical thinking and making decisions that could be life-consequential to others. Each soldier, dependent on another, loyally performed their assignment with the utmost precision. Like the myriad of paints held together on a canvas, one particle could not exist without the other.
My entrepreneurial journey began upon military discharge as co-owner of Henry’s South 75 Auto Salvage. It was an affinity for the outdoors that later spurred a decades-long lawn and landscape business. When wintertime came, it was trapping as a furrier or guiding game hunts. Life has always been an adventure and evening no exception, playing harmonica with some of the Nation’s great musicians.
Artistically emblazoned on my upper arms, “eyes that see” contrasted with “eyes that saw too much”. My passion for experiencing the beauty of the outdoors finds itself a world apart from what a young man of 18 encounters on the battlefield.
Yet the journey of life’s work speaks to a higher calling, one in which we confront our feelings and those embedded in the minds of our comrades. Participation and Leadership in local Veteran support groups has been highly rewarding and an integral part of my path.
My artistry keeps me active in creating pieces which allow each viewer to see what uniquely speaks to them. Whether it’s chains drug through muddying acrylics on a gently massaged canvas, or inks manipulated on yupo, the paints themselves tell me when it’s time to rest. It’s life’s stories that lie therein.