The eldest of four children, I was born in Spartanburg, SC in 1974. A sensitive, studious child, I was nonetheless a talkative, rough-and-tumble boy. My childhood was spent exploring the rolling, spacious yards of all our neighbors in Vanderbilt Hills. I remember clearly the woods and creeks and my favorite climbing trees; bike rides and fireflies and the rundown tool shed we hid behind. The cramped house on Croydon Road: Mom and Dad, my brother and I, and our two little sisters on top of one another. I recall the way the light would play in the hallway, the cool feel of the old wooden floors -- a close acquaintance with spaces and textures made wondrous. I, paying my siblings in quarters to sit still: my first portrait models.
Years later, I made my way to Furman University. Uncertain of my exact interests, I plunged into the humanities by broadly designing my own interdisciplinary degree. Whether painting or drawing, studying poetry or 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. Contemplating ministry, academic theology, and the arts, I was blessed to find an ideal mentor in a professor named Dr. MacKenzie. An Old Princeton man, "Mac" spent his years teaching philosophy and theology at the highest levels, yet he kept a heart for the human and relational. 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. 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 grew immensely through the process. While in Asheville, I joined colleagues and faculty in exhibiting locally and regionally through the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas. Having the added opportunities to show works at 16 Patton in Asheville, as well as the Crossnore Gallery in Linville, NC, I began to find interested patrons and collectors, from Asheville to Miami and beyond.
Finishing my studies in 2008, I returned to Spartanburg. Weathering the recession and winding my way through many life changes, I am now a married man, wiser and more grounded. My wife Hallie is a lovely companion, as well as a talented painter and illustrator. Partnered in the visual arts, close to family and caring communities, we are excited to explore both travel and opportunities to serve others with our gifts. And Greenville is where we quietly make our home, working with our hands.