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About Me

Self Portrait

I was born on Paul Newman’s 21st birthday in Cairo, Illinois. (Cairo is pronounced “kair-o” if you ever lived there, “kay-ro” if you ever drove through it and “ki-ro” if you never knew it existed outside of Egypt.)
 
My father was a struggling, young, Baptist minister and my first exposure to art came out of necessity. I was given pencil and paper to keep me occupied in the pew while my dad preached and my mother played the piano. That turned out to be a lot of training considering I had seventeen years of perfect attendance pins (in Sunday School) by the time I was eighteen.

Dad had churches in Cairo (not Egypt), Illinois; Lansing (not Michigan), Illinois; and Grand Haven (really in Michigan), Michigan.

As for my schooling, I graduated from Grand Haven Senior High (1964) and then from Wheaton College (1968) with a BA in art and a teaching minor. Later I received my master’s degree from Northern Illinois University (1975) in drawing.

Boat I taught a variety of art courses at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois over the next twenty years, ending up specializing in drawing and photography (both strictly black and white).

In the summer of 1984 I went for a “ride” on a sailboat and fell in love with sailing. By that fall, I owned a 27’ sailboat (The Undertoad) and had no idea how to sail the damed thing… which has to do with my art because I became a teacher who sailed that wanted to be a sailor who taught… which led to my jumping at a friend’s offer to leave Belmont Harbor in Chicago (which is not sailboat friendly five months a year) and begin a new teaching career on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I taught junior high art in the islands for 12 years and lived/sailed on another 27’ sailboat (The Friendly Confines) which by this time I had learned to sail by myself.

It was in the islands that my days as a black and white photographer and a black and white drawing devotee came to an end. I was seduced by color and I gave in.

How I ended up teaching kindergarten in Florida is another whole story we won’t get into except to say that it is consistent with the rest of my life choices.

Jeep

I have had a great life. I have hitchhiked through Europe (loved Salzburg and Florence), owned a ’59 Corvette and an early ’49 DeSoto, drove a school bus, pumped septic tanks, dug graves, bartended, worked in a screw machine factory, a tannery (really stinky), a foundry and pruned Christmas trees, taught in Chicago, the Virgin Islands, and Florida, have been a custodian, an assistant principal, lived through a category 5 hurricane and several category fours, sailed Lake Michigan and the Caribbean (Lake Michigan is the more dangerous) and still believe the Cubs can eventually get to the World Series.

“I am now an artist who teaches and looking forward to the changes that change may bring.”