Many if not most of my 300,000 social media followers are from regions wracked by violence and discrimination. Some write to me. A Syrian woman in a refugee camp wrote to tell me that after seeing one of my paintings that she knew I understood her and that she wanted to die. The next morning she looked at the same painting and saw hope in the woman’s eyes and she knew then that she too could have hope. She told me that I saved her life. This is why I paint.
My work is exhibited internationally at universities, art centers, museums and galleries. I am a frequent speaker and lecturer and my work has been featured and reviewed in local, national and international media.
In 1964 I was 16 years old and I wanted to be an artist. Willem de Kooning was my art hero but, the Vietnam War was raging, I couldn’t afford art school and I probably just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I became an engineer and ultimately president of National Geographic’s world-wide mapping business. 40 years later in 2004, I retired to become a full-time artist. I could afford to define success in my way but it took a few years to find my voice – my soul’s work.
I paint to make a difference - to be part of a larger conversation - to engage, motivate and heal - to be part of the solution. It’s just who I want to be.
The essence of my art is the exploration of fundamental issues of our time. I explore injustice, intolerance, discrimination, addiction, violence and war with its victims, witnesses and survivors.