As a child, I spent countless hours at the Hicksville Ohio Public Library, where I discovered my love for art and visual storytelling. With its impressive collection of illustrated books, I was introduced to the work of great artists like NC Wyeth, Howard Chandler Christy, and Norman Rockwell, whom I sought to imitate. At a young age, I started to study and copy the great illustrators and was eventually mentored by some of them.
In 1973, I pursued my passion and moved to Toledo to work at an illustration studio, where I learned from experienced artists the ways and means of commercial illustration and painting. During my time there, I developed a close friendship with Harley Copic, one of the top aviation artists in the world, who taught me invaluable skills like painting clouds.
My career as an illustrator began to take off when I secured a position at the Blade Newspaper in Toledo and later became art director at Toledo Magazine. This is where I learned how to create visual stories with metaphors and motifs that resonate with people. I also had the privilege of painting portraits of great aviation heroes and generals, some of which now hang in prestigious locations such as the Pentagon and the Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio.
In 1992, I met Randy Root, and our partnership changed my life. Together, we formed Root Learning and created a technology called “Learning Maps,” which I worked on for 15 years and delivered to over 500 multinational corporations. Initially, I was the only artist creating these maps, but eventually, 150 artists used the system I developed.
As of today, I'm currently working on a Learning Map for the West Clermont school district in southern Ohio, which tells the story of school children's daily lives from kindergarten up through graduation. It's called “The Journey of a Student,” and it's a project that combines my passion for visual storytelling and education. This type of work has also influenced my fine art, where I specialize in creating "concept portraits," like the painting of Warren Buffett as the Babe Ruth of Investing. This painting found its way into Berkshire Hathaway's offices, and I was honored to receive personal thanks from “The Oracle of Omaha,” along with a signed print of the painting with his personal signature, which is now a treasured memento in my lockbox.
If you're interested in a painting dedicated to your memory, capturing your legacy for the world and your family, please feel free to contact me.
Jan. 31, 2023