I was born and raised
in Turlock California, originating from illegitimate Irish stock
temporarily residing in Iowa, a mix of Indian, Chinese and European
ancestors and directly descended from Rob Roy McGregor. I found
my way into art in the early 1970s, when I began taking seriously
the use of the camera with which I had piddled for over 15 years
on and off. My father had a darkroom for many years, from the '40s
on, which contained all the necessary equipment and a lot of guns.
The guns got more use than the photographic equipment and resulted
in my affinity for the landscape. My artistic interests were further,
but unconsciously, influenced by camping trips with my family, including
an early '50s trip (excused from school) to Death Valley where I
used my Brownie camera extensively. I still have some of the pictures
taken at that time.
Other early influences
on my artistic aspirations came in the form of figure drawing books
located at the local stationery store in downtown Turlock, and the
girl in the green sweater behind the counter (I'm sure she was at
least ten years older than me at the time). There were Peter Gowland's
figure photography books at the local library, which given that
it was Turlock, I'm surprised that they were available for a kid
like me to view.
Anyway, I began in the
late '70s s to take things more seriously and joined several camera
clubs, working in black and white photography, shooting figure studies
and other scenic topics. In the early '80s I shifted my interest
to a photographic method called Gum Bichromate, where watercolors
are used in suspension with gum arabic to form a photo-sensitive
surface and image. By 1988 I thought I should expose myself to painting
and spent several years working in watercolor, producing some landscapes
from my desert wanderings.
By 1998 I had been exposed
to digital methods of photography and computers and decided to try
working outside a darkroom, with only the computer and the camera.
I currently shoot 35 mm film which is drawn out and squeezed into
the spirit of my experience while actually making the photographic
exposure. Images are printed on inkjet printers.
If I had to identify
a number of artists of particular import to me in years past they
would be not necessarily in order:
My main interests are
in landscape work using color materials. I perceive art for myself
as mainly a process of color and form abstraction, with the emphasis
on color. I also create avian imagery when the time and the damned
birds allow. In addition to camera-derived art, I also continue
my interests in paint and intend to dive head-first into sculpting.
I do not know where that will lead.