I grew up in the small town of New Philadelphia, Ohio. My family didn't have much. So, we had to make do with what we had, found, made, or imagined. I can trace my love of nature back to those days. There was a creek that ran about a quarter mile behind our house with a wooded hill just beyond that. I spent many summer days in those places, wading down the creek as far as I could go and playing in those woods for hours on end. As I got older (still in my teens though.) I came to appreciate the contemplative solitude I found in those woods.
When I was 15 my family moved to the Bay Area, California. It was here that, through mutual friends, I met my wife Jamie, the love of my life! And it was with her, that I was introduced to what art could potentially be. She was taking an Art History class and we went to the Oakland Museum of California for an assignment. I still remember the awe I felt for some of those oil paintings. Especially the abstracts and the minimalist works. At the time I didn't realize just how much of an impact that day, and those pieces, would have on me in my later years.
It wasn't until many years had past and after I moved to Phoenix, Arizona that I truly found the joy of photography. It started when I took a job at a local 1-hour photo lab. I enjoyed seeing other peoples photographs and remember one in particular quite vividly. On the entire roll of film were 24 exposures of abstract images of basic kitchen utensils and bubbles with so many colors! I had no idea that this kind of work could be done with a camera. From there my passion for photography drove me on. This time to a local junior college where I took my first photography class and learned the "rules" of composition and the basics of wet darkroom black and white printing.
The visual arts have continued to influence my life and my studies. I now hold a Bachelors of Art degree in Art Education through Ottawa University and for a short time taught high school photography. Through the classes that I had to take to achieve my BA, which included drawing, painting, art history, and more photography classes, I was introduced to many other artists and styles. Of the many who influence my work, I seem to be most attracted to the works and philosophies of Mark Rothko, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jack Dykinga, Aaron Siskind, and Michael Kenna.