As long as I can remember, I would draw, paint (copying anything and everything), dig up red clay from the earth in the quarries around our home in Virginia sculpting masks and busts. The idea of becoming an artist wasn't applauded, so I went to college - majoring in chemistry and biology.
Careers later, I came to New York, settling into the 'then' gentlemen's world of publishing, but yearned for artistic expression. I attended private drawing groups, finally went to the famous Art Student's League and wandered into the sculpture department. That was it. Attending classes at night I worked from the models, cast everything I did just to learn how. Thirsty for knowledge I studied anatomy with Robert Beverly Hale whose book on anatomy is one of the most important still in print today. From the League I went to The National Academy of Design and Fine Art in the early 70's, embarking upon a course of study with the remaining Beaux Arts sculptors and their students men like Adolph Block and Granville Carter, themselves taught by the greats of the traditional world of sculpture in the early 1900's - Malvina Hoffman, Herbert Haseltine, Paul Manship, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Wheeler Williams, Rodin, Gutzon Borglum. The sculptor/instructor who made the real difference in my studies is EvAngelos Frudakis. Through his tutelage, I learned to "see" the human form.
It is the Hellenistic and Renaissance periods of art that influence me. But, perhaps more so, is the incredible sculptural drawings of the late, great artist, Paul Cadmus, that have had the most important impact upon my work. Friend, self-effacing mentor of nearly thirty years, as well as an example of how one goes about creating "good" art, I owe a great measure of my continued attempts as a sculptor/artist to his influence and encouragement.
Malvina Hoffman wrote "Art that needs explanation and placards, or high-pressure publicity, is a hollow travesty. The place one holds in the contemporary "movement" is of passing importance; popular trends are just one more racket in the material market. What counts is the lasting integrity of the artist and the enduring quality of his work." "When evidence of beauty survives we do not need words of explanation, we need only silence."
I wonder if it is the desire for order and clarity that made me choose sculpture as my medium. Representational sculpture, unlike painting, is limited to mainly concrete forms. No fields of green, heaving oceans, stormy or blue skies .
Aah, to worship at the beauty man can create, and create beauty that can last millenniums, that is my intention.
Preferring to work only from the "life" model, I am grateful to Jon Anderson, who has modeled and continued to work with me since we met at The National Academy in 1971. His spirit and vitality continues to infuse my work and imagination.
The pure act of coming up with a "theme", deciding the "pose" that might best exemplify it, leads me into the joy and bliss of the creation of my art.