I started my career in the art world around seven years old. I entered an art contest and won an Alexander doll. This was the beginning and rest of my life. I studied art in high school, college, and then went to Florence, Italy for a year and a half, working at the Academia di Bella Arti and at the Scuola di Simi. My world was all about paint, pastels, and charcoal.
1983 was the beginning of my stint as a documentary photographer for the New York Times and an assistant for National Geographic magazine. As time went on, I worked on assignments, contributing to Time, Newsweek, American West, Audubon, Smithsonian, Sierra, and numerous other national and international publications. More recently I've entered and been included in many juried shows and been featured in several photographic magazines.
For me, the photographic arts are not about taking the image, but more about the connections and the extended educational endeavor. I'm not a hit and run kind of shooter. Landscapes require walking, hiking, seeing, and waiting for the right light, although sometimes I'll enhance my images with borrowed elements from other photos I've taken. Compositing. Montage. Call it what you will. It's real to me. People are a different story. And I want to know their story. I've been invited to weddings in Rajasthan by women in the street pulling me along for the festivities. That's when I put down my camera and just play, sing, dance, and enjoy. It's the adventure that increases my adrenaline. And Wildlife. I once hung out with a group of gelada monkeys in Ethiopia at 11,000 feet. The first day they were shy and weary of my presence, but by day three we were hunting together for succulent roots to eat. I gave my roots to the rest of the group. These monkeys are vegetarian. They also sleep on the sides of cliffs to avoid being eaten by predators. I did not. I slept in a bed bug infested bungalow. Lucky monkeys.
Each journey provides a new story that adds to my life. I plan to continue this hunt-and-peck approach to enriching my daily existence until its over, and hopefully I will leave something behind. The years of creating have saved me from the raw edges of day to day living. I will keep creating in all mediums, including mixed media. It's my form of expression, surpassing my verbal skills. If in the process, I convey a sense of mood or tell a story, then I have achieved my wildest dreams.