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Biography

I was born in Seattle when it smelled of rust, cedar and low tide. I moved back to Seattle in 1980 for the rain (really) and because of paintings I had seen at the Francine Seders Gallery (by Guy Anderson, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves and others). I didn’t understand them, but when around them my inner life awakened with memories of my boyhood in the region of Puget Sound. I have lived up and down the West Coast and now make my home in Portland.

Legend has it my maternal grandfather was born under the floorboards during an Indian raid in 1890s Saskatchewan. Granny hailed from the Borders of Scotland and was more than a little fey.  My dad’s father was a welder, a Choctaw-Scot from Alabama who worked on bridges and who won the hand of a southern belle in Mississippi. In the 1920s they moved their brood of six to a logging camp near Spirit Lake on Mount St. Helens.

Both my parents had outsized personalities: Dad was an adman/radio man and mom was a charming lass from northern Manitoba, and later Vancouver. They met and married in dreamy 1950s Honolulu. (Mom said she dated Barney Isaacs before settling on Dad.) I began this life there in Honolulu, and the sounds and smells of the Islands still run through me.

I studied drawing and painting in California through the 1970s, held residencies in Barcelona and Paris in the 1980s, and since the mid 1990s have engaged in a passionate study of Asian art. I began using encaustic in 1985, inspired by a painting by Joseph Goldberg. This was long before there were any books or classes on it. With encaustic, I can bring together all of my other methods: oils, papers and inks, fabric, tar, and gold. The work I do draws on multiple lineages of art, culture and spiritual meaning.

In September 2006, I curated, with Elise Wagner, “Impulse,” a national show of encaustic painting and sculpture at the Portland Art Center. I've participated in group exhibits at the Art Gym (Marylhurst University) and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and had a solo show at Oregon State University in 1995. I have taught painting and drawing in Seattle and Portland since the middle 1990s. In 2007, I led a group of artists on a tour of museums, galleries and artist studios in Barcelona, a trip sponsored by Pacific Northwest College of Art. I  was nominated for the 2013 Northwest Artist Awards. You can see my paintings at the William Traver Gallery in Seattle, at i.e. gallery in Edison, Wash., at Cedar Street Galleries in Honolulu, and at Augen Gallery in Portland, Oregon.