In the Beginning
I was born in Washington D.C. and at the age of four moved into an abandoned New Jersey mortuary. High school was started in New Hope PA and finished in Peterborough NH. The first artist I ever met was New Hope portrait painter Nelson Shanks at the age of twelve. He didn’t teach me to paint but he opened my eyes to the life, and studio of a painter. The first painting I remember seeing of his was a life-size fleshy naked man, I was impressed. A few years later I met New Hampshire painter Sidney Willis; he taught me how to use paint and, as the son of a Boston prize fighter, how to throw a punch. He gave me my first paints and even my first easel. By 18 I had my first apartment and was working for Byte Magazine; I worked in the book department and painted several paintings including a spooky magazine cover about DNA.
Never making it to New York City
A year later I enrolled at Paier College of Art just outside New Haven CT. I dropped out after two years and set off for NYC but wound up moving to Sri Lanka instead with a one-way ticket, little money and a ridiculously heavy suitcase full of paint. After overstaying my 3-month visa and having my boat ticket stolen I snuck onto a boat to India with a roll of toilet paper and a sketchbook. After traveling across India, up to Nepal then eventually back to Sri Lanka I wound up broke and living in an unheated barn in Maine. My next home was an island in Casco Bay where I slept on a piece of foam rubber and struggled and failed to start a fashion business called Tina and Taylor. From there I moved to Washington D.C.; every summer of my childhood had been spent in the area living with my Grandmother. Washington is where much of my early art education took place – I spent a lot of time in the museums sitting for hours and staring at paintings…
A sampling from several series. Click on an image to see more from that series.