I remember my first brush with learning to draw came from time with mom. She encouraged me to develop my hand/eye coordination by drawing ellipses over and over again in a linear fashion, at varying degrees of angle. They reminded me of little tornadoes. I would play with the movement of the pen or pencil, imagining the tornadoes tilting this way or that. And it certainly did provide a foundation for hand/eye coordination. As elementary as this may sound, I now realize it built my confidence in being able use all sorts of tools to express myself visually.
In high school, my involvement with Thespians gave me an introduction to set design and graphic design while creating posters for the plays. My art teacher also encouraged me to experiment with different techniques and methods of expression. He was instrumental in introducing me to the larger world of art beyond the boundaries of our small town as he shared the world of professional / commercial art and encouraged me to continue my art education after high school.
In college art courses I was exposed to many different forms of expression; ie: figure drawing, plein air drawing, painting, sculpting, weaving. Throwing clay on the wheel and firing the kiln, metal plate and stone etching for print-making were all a part of it. Most of my education about the formal process of creating and production came later through books, dvds, workshops, observation of others in their studios or places of work. It helps to learn when one has an insatiable curiosity. I was always asking people how they did things.
My early working years were spent hauling garbage, as a graphic artist for a paper bag and gift wrap company, a team member of an art department for a small roll label printing company, a short stint at a small ad agency, a cartoonist for a national t-shirt printing company where I learned to use a "stat" camera (..way before computers) and building maintenance. While working as part of the building maintenance team for a large city church, I would arrive a couple hours early and use the time to create in a small studio space I had arranged in the attic.
In 1986 I had the opportunity to learn architectural drafting on the job. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that and mechanical drafting for a small engineering firm for over 30 years. During this period I continued to develop my skills as an artist. I eventually started sketching in the morning before getting out of bed. That practice was a substantial part of my artistic growth. Several years ago I was introduced to the electronic tablet and the world of digital painting. I have had the pleasure of continuing to learn different methods on drawing / painting apps, the outcome which you can see in my galleries.