About My Background
My artistic story is one of a neglected gift being explored late in life. Apart from artistic training in my youth, I’ve been largely self-taught, learning by doing.
So if my artwork appeals to you, that is my most significant credential.
After retiring from a career of government lawyering and law school teaching, then managing shoreline construction on the Chesapeake Bay, I was inspired by my irresistible grandchildren, whose portraits called out to be painted. So I started, cold, to paint them. Surprisingly soon, this led to solo gallery shows, awards, and selection as an Artist in Residence.
A long lapse occurred between my teen-aged exposure to painting still life in the Chicago studio of Ann Roman, and starting to paint portraits of my grandchildren. Once focused on portraiture, I joined an artists co-op to limber up working from life models, and also attended fine workshops with Rob Liberace at the Art League in Alexandria, VA. Rob is a generous teacher and recognized master, winning an International Grand Prize in portraiture. So his immediate reaction on first seeing me at an easel in December, 2009, was gratifying. Surprised to learn I had not been painting all my life, he told me: “You can’t not paint!”
Thus encouraged, I continued. In 2012, I was awarded a studio as Artist in Residence at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Maryland. By 2013, my first solo exhibit of 22 portraits, “Seen Around Town,” was shown at the Maryland Federation of Art (MFA). Works in this first solo show received three independent awards, being selected as the individual choice by each of three judges from among all works of art shown at the MFA during its 50th anniversary year.
Since then, I’ve been selected by the Arts Council to exhibit at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and by the Maryland Society of Portrait Painters to exhibit at Quiet Waters Park and at the City Hall in Maryland's capital. My work is regularly chosen for juried regional and national exhibits, including at the Mitchell Gallery and the Maryland Federation of Art. My second solo show on the contextual theme “Artistry in the Making” was exhibited at the Martino Gallery of Maryland Hall in 2015. And many of my drawings were shown that year in “Sketches from Life” in Cambridge, MD. Submitting work for the first time in 2015, a commissioned portrait of mine was honored by the prestigious Portrait Society of America, chosen from over a thousand entries to their national competition.
Then, in 2016, personal transitions included a major downsizing move, and saw little painting done. Picking up brushes again in 2017, I was showcased at a regional Arts and Wine Festival, was juried into national shows, and continued to manage an artists’ portrait studio that I still run. In 2107, I also received First Place in oil painting at the Kent Island Federation of Art, where the following year, in 2018, my portrait was judged “Best in Show.” In 2018, my work has been displayed simultaneously in multiple venues, including the international juried exhibit "Strokes of Genius" at the MFA. I was also invited to participate in the Painted Violins Project, a fundraising effort for the Annapolis Symphony Academy. Repurposing an abused and broken student instrument into a work of art to be raffled for this benefit was certainly a design and technical challenge, for a cause I was pleased to support.