There's a common perception that artists are born with a special talent. If I have a talent it's simply the persistence to keep painting, despite the hard work, the disappointments and frustrations. Painting isn't easy. There are times when I'm so exasperated by my apparent inability to capture a scene that I can easily understand why some artists have destroyed their works. But usually, after some time has passed, I can learn useful lessons from that experience that will enable me to improve in the future.
This is not really any different than striving for most other goals in life. After witnessing this in myself and many other friends, colleagues, and teachers, I've concluded that virtually everyone has considerable artistic ability. Otherwise I wouldn't be painting, nor would thousands of other artists. Of course, there's always genius whether it's in art, music, sports, gardening, business or any other endeavor. But that doesn't stop any of us average types from singing, playing an instrument or a sport, planting a garden or earning a living. Everything of value takes work and we don't have to be gifted at birth to gain enjoyment and satisfaction from these pursuits. So, I encourage you to join me in the search to fulfill your dreams.
Having experimented with various media, I've found my greatest satisfaction in painting with oils. I'm primarily drawn to painting landscapes, although I love the challenge of figures as well. I have to give considerable credit to the Adult Education program offered through Santa Barbara City College for the majority of my success. Their extensive art classes and superb teachers are surely some of the best in the U.S.
This alone would make it very hard for my wife, Ann Sanders, who is also an artist, and me to ever consider moving from Santa Barbara. Painting has introduced new excitement, discovery and passion into our lives. We typically paint together, whether it's in plein air or the studio, and while this initially presented its own challenges, much like dance classes, we've eventually found harmony in working side by side. We also try to enroll in as many workshops as possible to experience different approaches and painting in new locations.
I was born in Los Angeles, but my father was a career Naval Officer, so we moved extensively around the U.S. After college, I was committed to a four-year stint in the Navy which was extended to seven years due to the Vietnam War. I served predominantly in Underwater Demolition Team and SEAL Team. I returned to Stanford University after the Navy and moved to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB for a career path in biology and biochemistry. I spent a brief period in a pharmaceutical firm before transferring to Santa Barbara County Environmental Health. After I retired in 2000 I began my third, and hopefully final, career in art.
Stanford University. BA. Psychology, 1964
University of California. Santa Barbara. M.S. Biochemistry, 1981
Santa Barbara Adult Education. Plein Air and Figure Drawing classes
Workshops. Glenna Hartmann, Chris Chapman, Michael Drury, Thomas Van Stein, Tim Clark, Cathy Quiel, Marcia Burtt, Mark Kerckhoff, Rick Schloss, Sally Strand, Clark Mitchell, Stanley Goldstein, Albert Handell, Jean LeGassick, Randall Sexton, Richard McKinley, Frank Serrano, Matt Smith, Jove Wang
Santa Barbara Art Association, Goleta Valley Art Association, SCAPE