Born on Christmas Eve of 1942 in Pulaski,
Virginia, I grew up in two worlds. Rasied by
both sets of grandparents, my mother's
parents, the Whitakers, operated a "mom
and pop" grocery store and a ladies fashion
shop. My father's parents, the Thomases
were farmers and lived along the banks of
Walker's Creek in the rural community of
White Gate, Virginia.
It was while helping my grandmother decorate
windows in the fashion shop that a local
photographer apparently saw that I had a
little talent and talked my grandmother into
paying a small fee and letting me go to a night
class in oil painting at the local high school.
This was a pivotal event in my young life as my new brush loaded with color mixed on a palette touched canvas. After graduating from high school, I attended Richmond Professional Institute for training as a commercial artist and designer. There I escaped into the art world and began my journey into what would become my life's work.
I spent most of my career as a commercial artist and technical illustrator. I founded my own successful advertising agency in the early eighties. When the computer age ushered in a new era, I was forced to close the agency and seek another career. I worked as a real estate broker for almost twenty years until retirement a decade ago. My wife took a watercolor class about the same time I retired and I joined her, thus renewing my journey back into painting and the arts.
Today, I am lucky to call my old home of Pulaski, Virginia, home for part of the year and Sunset Beach, North Carolina, my home too, maintaining a studio in both places. Mountains and beaches feed my creative soul and push me to create. My work expresses the love of the land, the sea, and the spirits that fuel my imagination and stimulate my emotions in both worlds.