“I've been asked how long I've been an artist. I can only reply that I've been an artist as long as I've been right-handed. I think some people are born artists and others are not. I don't mean some people are born with a natural talent to draw or paint or sculpt. I mean people who are born with the inner need to create. Everybody has some natural talent but most fail to develop their talent through the formative years of their lives.
I guess an artist is one who can live their life not wanting a 9 to 5 job or needing the security and comfort that comes with such a job. I think that describes me.
When I was about 10-years-old I was making realistic graphite pencil drawings. It was not too long after that when I realized I was an artist. I left behind the family farm and studied photojournalism in junior college. I thought it would be fun to make a living doing something a lot of people paid to do as a hobby.
I was right. I worked almost 30 years as a photojournalist for newspapers and magazines and, although not very rewarding financially, I can't think of any profession that would be more interesting, more fun than photojournalism.
Unless, I had spent those years making graphite pencil drawings.
Over the years my photographs moved over the Associated Press wire and appeared in publications such as USA Today, the Dallas Morning News, Rocky Mountain News, the Seattle Times and many other publications. Also in many major magazines. I also won many awards for my images. But a time comes for all of us to kick back a little.
Several years ago osteoarthritis set in and I had no choice. I had to get off my feet. All the years walking along football sidelines and through airports and on assignments had taken a toll. I had to sit down. I didn't retire. You have to have money to retire. I just had to stop working and get off my feet.
So I returned to my first love which is making graphite pencil drawings. The past couple of years I've specialized in miniature drawings. Mostly heads only three or four inches tall. I also create art using watercolor pencils, pastels and Conte crayons. My color images drift away from the subjects I create in my graphite pencil drawings. My color images tend to be a little looser. My graphite drawings are highly accurate with great detail.
These days I live with just my three cats and often sit up well past midnight creating my art. I like to work late at night. It's quiet and there are no interruptions.
Recently I've earned second and third places in an art show at Weatherford Art Association and in June was selected as "Artist of the Month" at Weatherford Art Association.
My drawings are frequently purchased by collectors in Fort Worth and Dallas and one of my drawings was used to promote an art show and sale sponsored by the Fort Worth Community Art Association. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote that I was, "one of Fort Worth's best artists."
But I don't just create my art just for a collector to purchase and hang on their wall, although I do appreciate and need the commercial success. I create my art because that's all I want to do. That's what I love doing. Few things in my life are more rewarding than to complete a drawing and look at it and realize I've done a pretty good job on it. I work from photographs and when a work I've done looks like the photograph but with more emotion then I know I've done a good job.
Quite often I'll finish a drawing and put it away for awhile, not wanting to sell it because I've put so much of myself into it. Then when I do sell it I hope the buyer can somehow know that they are buying more than just an image.
My graphite drawings are usually only a few inches in size but when the viewer looks he can see the lines of the years or the sparkle of youth or the pain that is in the subject. The detail is there.
My images are simple. I eliminate everything from the drawing that isn't necessary. As a result I very seldom include details in the clothing the subject is wearing. I want the viewer to look at my drawings and feel what the subject is feeling. That, to me is success.”