The eldest of four children, I was born in Spartanburg, SC in 1974. My childhood was spent exploring the rolling yards of all my neighbors. I remember clearly the woods and creeks and my favorite climbing trees; the way the light would play down the hallways of our house, the cool feel of the old wooden floors -- a close acquaintance with spaces and textures made wondrous.
Attending Furman University, I plunged into the humanities by broadly designing my own interdisciplinary degree. Whether painting or drawing, or studying poetry and public speaking, I was fascinated with communicating: plumbing expressive possibilities; finding connections and forging them. Graduating in 1996, my wrestling with direction led me toward a seminary program where I further explored word and image and their interplay. While formative, I eventually decided to leave these studies, longing to pick up charcoal and paint brush again.
Having seen his frescoes in Charlotte a few years earlier, I found North Carolina master artist Benjamin F. Long, IV, in Asheville, NC starting a school. Joining his atelier in 2002, I began my studies within this master-apprentice model. Captivated by his command of various media, I found myself challenged and nourished. Primarily drawn to portraiture, I taught for two years at the school and joined colleagues and faculty in exhibiting locally and regionally through the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas.
Finishing my studies in 2008, I returned to Spartanburg. Winding my way through many life changes, I am now married to Hallie Gillett Bertling (halthegal.art), a talented painter and illustrator. Partnered in the visual arts, we look to explore the world through our travels and artistic ventures. And Greenville is where we quietly make our home, working with our hands.