Unfortunately, I cannot attend the reunion, as I will be participating in a national invitational juried art competition at Port Angeles, Washington “Paint the Peninsula”. I’ll take any and all good luck wishes, as these are some of the best artists in America doing “plein air” painting during this week long event. It is a juried art competition and I was lucky to get in. Olympic National Park is the backdrop for all the artists and I plan to work around the rivers, Pacific Ocean beaches, and boat harbors out there.
I hope any old friends who can visit the islands will be able to stop by. We do have a home gallery featuring my artwork done over the past few years and might even make you a crab cake or two. I am sending along an “action” mug shot from a live paintingIdemo did a year ago for about 50 members of The Olympia Art League (Olympia, Washington) as well as a small painting I did a few years back of a sunrise in front of our house, looking out at Thatcher Pass and Flower Island in October. We really do get these gorgeous colors with “cathedral skies” during prime time light effects, usually with a little fog layer and sunlight bouncing back through in the early morning. It’s titled “October Sun, Flower Island”.
That’s also what I’ve been doing for the past 15 years and couldn’t be happier with my “3rd career” since high school days at Borah. The other two (teaching and small business entrepreneur) were only prep school for the art gig.
I graduated from Boise State University with a BA in fine art and art education, and was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970, but got very lucky with a state - side job as Army Illustrator at Ft. Hood, Texas. After my esacpe from the Army in 1972, I was accepted into grad school at Washington State University and received an MFA in Fine Arts in 1974. That same year, I moved to the San Juan Islands with two other art majors to help build and start a private art school . . . and also taught at Lopez Island School, where I started their first full-time art program. That’s where I met my wife, Judy, who was teaching at the elementary school and is from Ellensburg, WA. We were married in 1975, in a beautiful outdoor setting, high on a rocky shoreline looking over the Straits of Juan de Fuca on Lopez Island. We just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this June.
We have 3 sons who all live and work in the Seattle area, so we get to see them often and they love to visit the island where they grew-up. We love “island life” especially since we travel so much. It’s nice to come home to this little piece of paradise. The island community here is incredible and fun to be involved with. We work-out regularly, hike, ride bikes and always try to stay in good shape, because we love cooking fresh crab from our pots set in front of the house and Judy has an incredible garden with all the fresh vegies (and especially basil, tomatoes) to go with that. Besides art, my other passion is gourmet cooking, which necessitates the constant workout. It is truly an idyllic place to live, as our 5 grandchildren underscore when they visit and don’t want to leave the beach.
My art work has become fairly well recognized around the block, especially as a painter who works on-site, in front of live subject matter (“en Plein Air” - the French term) or Alla Prima (the Italian term). No matter how it’s labeled, I love doing artwork this way and only need to live about 50 more years, to become accomplished!
I have received over 30 top awards and recognitions, since 2004, in major juried fine art competitions around the U.S. and in Europe. My latest include The 24th Annual Chelsea International Fine Art Competition at Agora Gallery, NYC (2009) as one of 33 artists selected by Ira Goldberg, director of the Art Students’ League in NYC among hundreds of worldwide entries. I was also invited to exhibit my work at The Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy in 2011, one of twelve artists representing the U.S. among 600 artists from over 60 foreign countries. Ciao bella – Firenze!
Most recently (November 2014), my painting titled “Soft Glow” won the Superintendent of Zion National Park Purchase Award during the painting event and now resides in their permanent collection alongside some notable artists like Thomas Moran, Maynard Dixon and many other iconic artists from the past century. I will be back at Zion again this coming November for my 3rd consecutive invitation to compete in the plein air paint-out and exhibit with 23 other top artists selected from around the U.S.
I love teaching art workshops, giving live painting demos & presentations to art groups & schools and am invited to do those around the U.S. and in Europe. Our next overseas art trip is in June, 2016, when I will be teaching again in Croatia and 2 weeks later in Bruges, Belgium. In between we plan to revisit the coastal towns of England to paint the old villages and wooden boats that abound there, or possibly a return visit to Tuscany and Umbria, where I also love to paint. Life is indeed good and most interesting with all the art related travels.
Have a wonderful reunion . . . we all had such an interesting and cool ride back in our glory days at Borah. The best is yet to come!
My web site: www.windsweptstudios.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org