I was a college professor for 31 years at Mount Mercy University located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I taught gross anatomy, human physiology, and other biology courses until my retirement in 2011. My graduate and formal training are as a scientist. However, I have always dabbled with art and even taught a cartooning course during the month of January for many years during my tenure at Mount Mercy. Following retirement I have enthusiastically pursued my passion for creating fine art in a realistic style.
As a self taught artist I have experimented with different media along the way, but I find Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils are the medium that best fits my natural style. These pencils allow me to achieve the detail that is characteristic of my paintings. My penchant for realism and detail may originate from my educational background and academic career in science. This natural tendency for expression of detail was further fueled when I found and began experimenting with high performance polyester film as a rather unique fine art substrate. This polyester film has a matte finish on both surfaces which allows me to work with color on both sides of the film. This enables me to more easily achieve the precise degrees of lightness and intensity of colors I desire in my paintings.
All my paintings are based on my personal experiences as viewed thru a camera lens. I work exclusively from digital photographs of both landscapes and still-life scenes generously provided by my wife. As we travel locally and out of state, we are continually looking for scenes that other viewers might also see as welcoming. One additional must is potential within the scene to initiate questions in the mind of the viewer.
An actual painting begins with a light detailed graphite drawing directly on the polyester film. I initially apply color to the working, upper surface and then go back to adjust the lightness and intensity of each area by applying appropriate colors to the undersurface of the film. This back and forth process allows me to achieve the realistic, natural colors characteristic of all my paintings.
I choose to refer to my works as “paintings” rather than as “drawings” because I hope that what you see here demonstrates how effectively colored pencils can be used to create fine art and that they will help to further advance the potential and visibility of, and an appreciation for this wonderful medium.