Creating art has never been just an interest for me. It is a desire, a need beginning early in my childhood with sketches of wildlife and flowers. My technical knowledge progressed through high school where I studied drawing, painting, sculpture and anything art related. In 1976, I met a most impressive man, Harry Resinger, the manager of a Tandy leather store, who would influence my future art pursuits. During this same period under the tutelage of Richard Hustad, my graphic arts and advertising career became a reality. From the first crude and shaky cut on leather, my mind raced over the possibilities for this exciting new medium.
There were no schools teaching leather artistry and only a few master artisans scattered throughout the world. By learning without a direct outside influence nor restrictions in methods, I have developed my own unique style. This learning process is sometimes like reinventing the wheel; frustrating, time intensive and tedious but, persistence brings satisfaction with new discoveries, advancements and ideas.
The initial response to the pictures is that they are oil or acrylic paintings but, when seen from a proper distance the depth of the images is clearly discernable. Viewing the piece while slowly walking by creates an illusion of movement in the figures. My original research in the brush application of acrylic paint to leather using multiple, transparent layers of color or glazes, enhances individual details from feathers to fur to tree bark. When examined closely all of the subtle character of natural leather grain textures are revealed.
I am a master leather artist and international competition judge with numerous awards, including Best of Show to my credit. My articles and patterns are published in the Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal magazine in an attempt to teach other would be leather artists via long distance. I have dedicated my time and skills to the preservation and advancement of leather as a fine art medium through education.
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