I was born in Le Mars, Iowa in 1942, and spent my childhood in Yankton, South Dakota. None of my family were artists, but my father and his family played musical instruments as children. When I was twelve years old, I saw the film The Glenn Miller Story, and when I returned from the movie I pulled my father's old trombone out of the attic and began playing it. I attended the Stan Kenton clinics at Indiana University while in high school, and pre-enrolled at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, planning to major in composition and arranging. However, just as I was graduating from high school I decided to become a writer instead.
I moved to San Francisco, California, in 1962. I intended to major in Creative Writing, but then I discovered that San Francisco State had a Film department. I had never seen an "art" film until I came to California, and perhaps I went a bit overboard--I decided that film should be an art medium like painting, and spent the 1960s making abstract films in 8mm. There was a strong avant-garde film movement in the Bay Area in those days, and it was exciting to be part of it.
While majoring in Film at SF State, I took art classes from a fellow film major named Gary Arlen Pickering. Gary taught drawing with large pastel markers with the eyes squinting--he was a disciple of gestalt. My style of easel painting derives from what he taught me about figure-ground ambiguity, but I have never derived the satisfaction from easel painting that I find in the film painting that I stumbled into as part of that tumultuous time of running weekly film showings at the F8 Filmaker's Cooperative and creating film work, both with and without camera.
After the ferment of the 1960s, I found myself gravitating back to writing, and spent the 1970s as a critic of jazz, avant-garde music, and theatre. Eventually I became editor of Ear, a magazine of avant-garde music. Ear published articles from all over the world, and in conjunction with the magazine I produced radio shows on KPFA and several iterations of the Free Music Festival. I also played music during that time, appearing on an album with guitarist Henry Kaiser.
Since the 1980s I have been working in the computer field, and it was as I was learning about computer-generated images that I was impelled back to the painted films, but this time toward presenting them as still photographs instead of movies. I have immensely enjoyed all of the arts I have participated in over the years, but of everything I have done, the painting on film most fills me with awe. My next venture will be to pursue the implications of painted film into the realm of sculpture, within which light will project the images residing within the three-dimensional forms.