August 16, 1960 to Present

The first significant moment I can remember was the first day of first grade when I realized my mother was going to leave me there, alone. I cried, while sitting at my little desk, until there were no more tears. I think it was the first time I had been out of my sandbox in the small farming community of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Just a few short years later, I was hardened to the realities of survival and tested on a frigid winter morning in 1969. A deep blanket of fresh snow covered our tiny house and I was sure I heard the fire horn blast, to testify there was no school. Ma would have none of it, and I followed her instructions to the letter, getting dressed and eating my cereal as I would on any other school day. I remember the sense of bewilderment rushing over me as we pulled up to the deserted school. Ma cursed the school bus driver during the entire 3 1/2
mile drive for not showing up that morning, and now she was telling me to
get out. I made my best effort to protest and her tone only became more
forceful, so I quietly exited the vehicle. A paralyzing wind took my home
work, while I watched my mother speed away.

Several hours later, Ma stood in front of a sink full of dirty dishes when I arrived home. She was not looking for me, nor did she show much concern for my half-frozen condition. She only asked why was I home so
early from school. This was the same winter my youngest brother Frank was born. I am the oldest of five children. Frank’s birth created a housing
problem that was quickly resolved when I was sent with my clothes, to the
chilly basement and an old green couch in the corner to sleep on. Here was my first studio, and while the TV news spoke of the Vietnam war, the real war was raging at my childhood home. I would escape to my basement to draw, and to listen to the soothing voice inside, that was always telling me that things would be just fine. I would draw flowers and death, the trees that I loved and the girls I desired, and I have made all the typical mistakes. I let the bullies who honed in on me make me feel weak. I let my parent’s inability to express their love make me feel like I was not important. I allowed my lack of formal education to make me believe I was not good enough. I let my career path lead me in many wrong directions. And always I would hear that same voice inside saying, never mind all that, just create.

Amazingly, it has been 37 years since that memorable winter and that
inner voice is a sparkling diamond which I can never ignore. I keep a green couch in my studio to this day it makes me feel secure. I am quite certain that every event, every relationship, every challenge since, has been only a matter of perfect timing. Now I know that it is my destiny to paint, and to remain open to the consequences of that purest act. Now, when I sit in front of a blank canvas, I ask the intelligent and loving forces in the Universe, to use me, to help me grow, and to let my creativity be a special message to you the observer, for this perfectly timed moment in your life.