Six years ago, my wife and I created a website to showcase our personal portfolios — her photography and my paintings. But in subsequent years, the purpose of that website, Paper Bird Studio & Design, began to shift…
Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming love I feel for my son. Fatherhood is such a wonderful, profound and often strange journey. I’m so proud of this particular delightful creature of a boy!
I’m finally calling these portraits of my lovely stepdaughters, Robin and Kayla, complete. When you know a person’s face especially well, you see it in an infinite number of ways rather than a collection of fixed attributes…
I’m a painter, woodworker and easel maker. I was born in 1973 in Wisconsin. These days, I live in Floyd, Virginia with my wife Cindy, and our eight year old son Lucas. I feel very fortunate to have a home, art studio and woodworking shop hidden away in our own private corner of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
I knew that I wanted to be a painter by the age of six. Throughout my childhood, I was consumed with drawing and painting. In my teens, I poured over every book on art that I could get my hands on. I sought Fine Arts degree at Ferrum College. I always presumed that eventually, I was to be a professional painter. During my twenties however, I tried to establish myself in other, more, “practical” careers. In the decade that followed, I’d become an alcoholic, then struggled back to sobriety. In my thirties, I destroyed most of my completed artworks. I spent many years where did not paint at all. Now in my forties, I’m proud to report that I am not so troubled. I paint here and there as time, work and family responsibilities allow. I even accept the occasional portrait commission and exhibit my work from time to time.
On Building Wall Easels
While woodworking has long been an interest of mine, the easel business is something of a happy accident. After sharing some photos of the easel that I built for myself, artists began asking to purchase easels for their studios. Reluctantly, I built a few. They sold quickly and the artists who bought them were pleased. Thinking ahead, I made a large batch that I imagined would sell over the course of a year or so. Instead, they sold out within weeks! To better meet demand, I’ve recently built a much larger, dedicated woodworking shop. All the while, I have continued to refine the easel design based on customer feedback and testing. It’s a good feeling to know that painters are creating their artworks on an easel that I designed and built.
Floyd, VA 24091