History, Past, Current, and Upcoming Exhibits
A Little About Me
I am a native to Montana, and despite a strong upbringing of appreciating the outdoors camping, fishing, and hunting, my interests have always centered around machines. Though I still find great value in nature, I also have an affinity for wonders of the man-made kind.
After graduating high school where I had 4 years of art training under teacher Jim Seaton, I attended college at Montana State University in Billings, Montana. I grew up in Laurel 15 miles away, and MSU in Billings was convenient, but also had a respectable fine arts program for undergraduates. While working on my BA I focused almost exclusively on watercolor and multiple techniques of printmaking, studying under John Pollock. While there I was fortunate enough to be exposed to such guests as Ben Steele and Troy Dalton, as well as other reputable fine artists and MSU alumni.
Upon graduating in 1999 I took a long break from art and turned my attention toward finding a "real" job to pay the bills. Admittedly the fine art scene in Billings and the rest of Montana at the time was not especially receptive to my style and personal take on fine art, a climate that made it difficult to get excited about an art career. I spent a few years working in an oil refinery, toiling on my art occasionally and doing custom hard-hat paint jobs for my co-workers. A friend approached me in 2004 about having a showing together, and I jumped at the opportunity. We showed together in a Billings cafe, Artspace, in July, 2005.
I spent the next 5 years working for the railroad, completeing an apprenticeship, getting married, buying a house, and just generally living life to it's fullest. My wife Becky and I bought some toys...hot rods and Harleys, and found ourselves getting deeper and deeper into the lifestyle. In 2009 she landed a job with a very established architecture firm that frequently hosts artists and arts events. As she became more involved with the local arts scene I too became more motivated about my art. One day the bottle came uncorked and it just keeps coming out. We are now both members of the Billings Arts Association and members of the board of that organization.
My influences run the gamut of fine artists such as Edward Hopper, John Stewart Curry, and Salvador Dali to contemporary "gasoline" artists like Keith Weesner, Big Toe, Sara Ray, and James Owens, and "kulture" icons like Bo Huff, Indian Larry (RIP), Jesse James, and Chip Foose.
In terms of my style and technique, I work almost entirely out of my head...not from photos. As a result I think my imagery often tends to be skewed or mis-proportioned to a degree. I have always been fond of the surrealist painters, and while I have great appreciation for the skill of a photo-realist, I do believe that art merely imitates life, that it is a result of life, a product of it...art is not life itself. While I do not consider myself to be a surrealist, I do employ surreal elements in my art. My primary purpose in creating art is to entertain the viewer...to give them something interesting to experience. If both myself and my audience are truly charmed, my art might reach them on some emotional level, but if I can make them smile a little then I'm content.
Student works (MSU-Billings)
Contemplation, watercolor on paper, 1998
This is a sampling of my BA work while attending college at MSU-Billings. As you can see, my subject has changed radically in 11 years, as have my style, medium...everything about my art, including alot of my attitudes about art. I still feel much of this work is valid though.
Earlier Professional Work (under construction)
Aside from minor design work, tattoo drawings, and a couple of T-shirt designs I did for friends, these peices best represent my "first" professional works. I enjoyed working with pen and ink, and wanted to explore the use of value to see if it could really produce a strong image in the absence of color. Of course I knew it could, but I wanted to see if I could. These pieces were shown at Artspace Cafe in 2005.
October Artwalk, 2010
Beast Within, 15X20
Location: Level 504 Gallery
Event: October Artwalk
Duration: Friday, October 1-????
Pieces: 13 original acrylic paintings, 11 custom models
Hot Rod Revival
My art is currently featured on the fantastic cultural site http://www.hotrodrevival.com/ShowArticle.php?articleid=692!