After more than a half century of traveling this earth, living, creating and experiencing the journey, I have formulated many opinions and seen many things. We in this country and on this earth are stressed to the limits of our tolerances. The hustle and bustle of our daily struggle to survive is overwhelming. I believe that we all need to sit down, sip a glass of good wine, take a deep breath and relax. Look around, colors, light, textures dance in the never ending ballet. It will be alright. Turn off the network news, cook a nice meal and share it with friends and family, go look at the sunset. Celebrate the gift of your life and count your blessings. This is what I attempt to show in my art, there is beauty all around us. It is ours for the taking.
I hope you enjoy the images on this website and that they give you a moments respite from your daily toil.
“The measure of success in ones life is manifest in . . . a body of work” D. Helling, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Born in Michigan, I showed an early aptitude for the visual arts. Growing up between Michigan and the Ohio river valley in northern Kentucky, I developed a great appreciation for my natural environments. I drew and cartooned my way through high school. But like most baby boomers, I wanted to be a rock and roller. When I became painfully aware that I was not a rock and roller, I discovered my passion; oils and canvas! They have been part of my world since 1969. Oh, I have played around with other mediums; illustrations, egg tempera, sculpture, the culinary arts. What ever the medium and how ever long I have set aside, the oils and canvas, I always came back. I have raised kids, had jobs, run graphic studios, owned a movie theatre and two restaurants, through it all, the sweet smell of linseed oil and turpentine seasoned it all. Colored by the richness of the oil palette I have painted my way through life.
I studied art at Western Michigan University in the early 1970's with John Metheany an abstract expressionist landscape painter whose love of oils made it difficult for me to be anything else. I received my B.F.A. in April of 1975 and embarked on the real education, life. I found work in the crafts at two belt buckle factories where we made hand crafted art buckles. But after my son was born the wild west beckoned. In September of 1980 I went west to Denver, the queen city of the plains. Here I found work in animation working on a short feature "Current Events" and dozens of T.V. commercials. I worked one season for Hanna Baberra drawing Mon Chi-chis and Smurfs. This work lead to more commercial work and a graphics business called DT Studios. Through all of this I painted, in the late 1980's I took to the road and traveled in my motor home through out the west and down in to the Baja. I painted on the beaches in Mexico and then back in my studio in Boulder Colorado.
By the mid 1990's I was back in Michigan painting along the shore of Lake Michigan, I created a series of dune paintings featuring my color sense and the strong light and shadow of early morning or late afternoon. Here, I got involved with theater, working as a set designer for my future wife's theater company. We actually purchased the downtown single screen movie palace in my home town. Painting slow down for awhile in the late 90's due to the hustle and bustle of running and maintaining a 1927 vintage building and business. But at the turn of the century we moved to the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. Here I found work in the restaurant business and painted the lush hills and valleys of the Smokey mountains. Once again I started to slow down the painting and I focused in on my culinary arts. I owned and operated two restaurants. My culinary skills grew but the paints dried out. In '07 we moved to North East Florida, near St. Augustine and it is here I will make my stand. No more businesses, no mor