After being bitten by a 7-8ft Hammerhead Shark in eighth grade, I was bedridden and came across "The Joy of Painting" with Bob Ross, which inspired me to start painting in oils. Since then, it has set me on an endless journey of self-discovery in the arts, seeking to find something to call my own.

After completing my BFA in Illustration in 2006 at Ringling School of Art and Design, I went through what they like to call "The Starving Artist" phase for several years. It was painfully depressing but absolutely necessary. I learned a lot and had fun doing so. Over the years, it was a work in progress, to say the least, constantly learning what not to do in all areas of my life.

It wasn't until 2015, after Hurricane Matthew of all names, when I stumbled upon my first life-changing Happy Accident to finally call my own. I used to build these custom wood frames for my artwork and inlay the bark from oak trees that had fallen in the aftermath of hurricane damage to create a border around the painting, stain them, and call it a day. Except on this one particular piece, I ran out of stain and was too stubborn to go get more. I decided to mix up my own concoction through oil paints, mineral spirits, and probably some other craziness. Applying it to a scrap piece of wood, I had a "Light Bulb" moment when I noticed an instant contrast between the grains. All it took was a horizon line that opened a whole new world of possibility. There was a natural flow to the landscape straight from the start. The water had a current, and the sky had movement. I knew I was onto something. From there, the sky was the limit. The only questions were what the subject matter would be and what wood to use.  I was drawn to the compressed, jagged, zig-zag grain pattern of Red Oak. I used it as a tool to share my journey through the past and up to the present. My inspiration comes from everything and anything basically, and then some. From the Ocean Breeze on your face to Light coming through the fog and shining on the face of a mountain. From hard times to good times to spinning a negative into a positive. The gratification one gets from helping somebody avoid the same mistakes that I went through. Ah Yes, "Life". Oh yeah, and a twist of fantasy. "Natural Expressionism" is born.

The beautiful thing is each panel is always different. I think that's what keeps it interesting for me. The wood evokes certain feelings based on how that tree spent its last days. It's always a challenge, but it gives me great pleasure to bring it back to life.

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