In recent years, I have had to face up to being classified as an Old Fart. I can’t deny it any longer, especially after my grandnieces (ages 2, 4 and 5) spent the day at our house, both my wife and I were exhausted at the end of the day and it took several more days to recuperate! I have come to realize that I just can’t do the things that I used to be able to do when I was in my 20’s, and worse, I realize how long ago it has been since I was in my 20’s!
I am one of the odd ones in that I was born in Calgary, way back in 1957, and have lived most of my life in this city. There aren’t many of us, typically if you were to ask any gathering of people in Calgary where they were from I would be the only one who was born in Calgary! There were some short stints living in Red Deer, an even shorter stint in Lethbridge and a work assignment in Halifax. I enjoyed these other cities, but I have found that the location of Calgary, being close to the mountains that I love, is hard to beat. I have been tempted to move to locations in BC, and it could still happen someday, but so far there has been no compelling reason to do so.
There were a few homeless years when we decided to sell the house, and most everything we owned, and went off to see the world. This was an amazing experience and one that we have never regretted, even though it was tough going at times. When you are in countries where the only other person that understands English is your spouse and you are with them 24/7, things can get a little tense. We survived our travels and are still married! I continue to draw on those round the world travel experiences in my art and it affects my outlook on the world, especially now that I have seen a small part of it. Even three years spent travelling is not enough time to really see the world. I lost count of the number of countries we visited, something on the order of 40-50 and on all of the continents, except Antarctica!
I did receive some sort of education at the University of Calgary. After a number of years of more or less aimlessly taking courses at University, I took stock of the situation and figured out that I had enough credits to graduate with a degree in Biochemistry. This happened in 1980. After graduation, I realized that I wasn’t very employable, but did manage to find a job working in the Oil Industry. After 30 some odd years of doing that, primarily in the area of production accounting and working on related computer systems, I retired. I should say semi-retired since I do own and manage an Art School, “Green Palette Arts”. We offer classes 3 days a week and have around 40 students enrolled including one children’s class.
In my youth, I was never particularly artistic but I did dabble with my mother's oil paints when she was painting. I took up painting in the early 1990's when I was finding the results of my photography efforts when travelling, or just out hiking in the mountains, to be unsatisfactory. While I occasionally produced good photographs, the photos seldom captured the mood or feeling of the place and time. I turned to painting in an effort to better capture those fleeting moments and I continue to learn to this day on how to accomplish this goal in my paintings. Since taking up painting I have attended numerous art classes and workshops with a number of different artists and am always willing to try out new techniques that I can incorporate into my work.
Lately my attention has turned to close-ups including flowers and other organic elements of the landscape. I paint in both Oils and Pastels, choosing the media to best suit the subject matter. I enjoy spending time hiking and skiing in the mountains and use those journeys as inspiration for many of my paintings.