Although I am interested in many subjects, my prime focus is to paint the industrial history of the Pittsburgh area in the positive light it deserves. With my artwork, I hope to pay tribute to its workers and their families. Politicians and the barons of industry receive the notoriety, but without the blue-collar workers laboring with their hands on the front lines nothing gets done.
The current "politically correct" view of our past, which narrow-mindedly focuses on pollution, ignores that Pittsburgh's smokey factories improved life in America, Europe and elsewhere. It was the "smoke" that paid for the college tuitions of hundreds of thousands of the workers' children (perhaps you are one of them); and it was the smoke which was the economic engine that produced the area's great universities, world class hospitals, sports arenas and large county parks that we enjoy today. Honoring the contributions of those from the past empowers the souls of today.
Some examples: Western Pennsylvania's workers created steel for the first "skyscraper" (the Home Life Insurance Building in Chicago), as well as for the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower, the Oakland Bay Bridge, the George Washington and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges, the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam, countless hospitials, schools and other projects that improved American life. Many of the rails for the American and European railroads were made here. A historian from England who purchased work from me exclaimed, "Pittsburgh's history is the Mecca!"
During two World Wars the armor for the Allied tanks and battleships were made in the Pittsburgh area, as well as barbed-wire, guns, bullets, helmets, explosives and other weapons. Pittsburgh was at the top of the list of Hitler's bombing plan for the U.S. During the Cold War my city was "ground zero" for a Russian nuclear attack plan. These enemies knew that hurting Pittsburgh was to cripple America.
I see Pittsbugh's past as glorious and hope to honor her workers and families with my art.
For over 20 years I have earned a living exclusively from doing various forms of commercial and fine art work.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. After earning a B.A. in English Writing and Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh I decided to pursue a childhood dream of being an artist. I supported myself doing construction work at that time, and enrolled in the Evening School at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. During the ensuing years, I earned a living from commercial graphic design work, sign painting, some illustration and thousands of sketch portraits and caricatures. In order to pursue my long-term goal of being a painter I saved money and made time to take painting workshops with various local artists including Philip Salvato, Jim Sulkowski, Ron Donoughe, John Johns, and Herbert Olds. Most importantly, I went on to study under Daniel Greene, N.A., from New York, for whom I also worked as a classroom assistant.
Over the years, I have drawn thousands of pictures on site. I have drawn and painted thousands of studies from live models. Many of my Pittsburgh paintings were done on location--the best way to learn.
I have had a one person show at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh; have relationships with various galleries and shops in Western Pennsylvania; and exhibit at the area's major art festivals.
I also sell work out of my Avery Street studio, near Pittsburgh's North Shore, and over the Internet.