As a young boy I grew up on my grandmotherís farm near Fair Hill, Maryland, near Mr. William duPontís farm where steeplechase races were held each year. We were always sent complimentary tickets to the events. Seeing the horses, their racing silks, the jockeys and grooms held great excitement for me. It also reminded me of a book my aunt had given me of the races and horses of Edgar Degas. Little did I know at the time this would be coming in the back door influencing my art.
Being at my Grandmotherís farm at Fair Hill I was surrounded by animals: The cows in the pasture, the horses that went off to the races. And most of all those hateful feral barn cats that would not let you pet them! I would take them skillets of food my grandmother would prepare; you would put food down and try to pet them and they would swat you. Little bastards and ungrateful devils!
It was a very big farm connected back to back with two other family farms owned since 1805. Going to the other farms their were carriage paths through the woods. My grandmother was frightened of horses and would sometimes drive the wagon holding the reins as tight as possible, and take a deep breath upon safe arrival at our destination!
Another thing remembered at the farm were the Guinea Fowl that would rest in a large pine tree every night, being the best watch dogs ever. Alerting everyone anytime something was stirring. All these experiences growing up makes my art what it is -- a genuine part of me, created and let loose in the world for all to see.