Thirty Years after my undergraduate degree, I decided to go back to school. A series of events alined, some by my design, others completely beyond my control. After retiring from my former position and day job, I decided to take the opportunity to devote my time to bettering my artwork. A ten month exploration in self education began in May of 2018. I began working in earnest, mostly through research of Master Illustrators and Artists, studying compositions, color, visual story telling styles, and technique; what I liked, why I liked it. If I couldn’t understand and intelligently explain or express my thoughts on a particular image, they went into a folder for future discovery. (Note: I learned to do that with my own artwork. If I got totally stuck and couldn’t figure out how to solve a problem, It went into the closet until I had learned how to provide a solution.)
That time spent in self study also included a trip to the east coast to visit some amazing museums and study the works of Charles Dana Gibson, N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Howard Pyle, the works of Leo and Diane Dillon, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, and many others as I and a dear friend toured the Delaware Art Museum, the Brandywine River Museum, The Eric Carle Children’s Book Illustration Museum, R.Michelson Gallery, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and the National Museum of American Illustration. This research trip drove my inspiration to new levels, providing fuel for a body of work that I am proud to call my own.
At the end of 2018, I started to research MFA degree programs. I was searching for a program that would allow me to continue to work and maintain my home base. I found that the University of Hartford met my needs quite nicely. The driving decision was however the faculty, led by Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame member Christopher Fox Payne.
So I am now three weeks away from beginning a two year journey of exploration, study, and drawing on a level that i have not experienced for quite some time. I am excited, hopeful, and nervous. I remind myself to just keep moving forward and do my best. Some days my best will be good enough, some days my best will present me with opportunities to learn what not to do next time. So I invite you to stop back, and follow my adventures as I begin this new path in my career and my life. I hope that you find this enjoyable, and as always, I thank you for stopping by.