I have always had an interest in history. While living in New England, I began creating architectural renderings of historic dwellings on commission. As part of the process, I had to study colonial architecture and its terminology in order to draw accurate representations of buildings undergoing restoration. Clients often had studied the history of their homes, and I was obligated as an illustrator to depict those architectural elements with precision. With the study of Colonial, Georgian, and Federal architecture naturally came a parallel understanding of the everyday lives of the settlers and wealthy merchants who inhabited the homes of these periods.
When I retired from teaching and moved to northeastern Florida, I continued my interest in history. Living but a short drive from St. Augustine, I visited the city's historic district, attended local reenactments of native American celebrations, observed battle reenactments, visited areas forts, museums, and monuments. At each venue I took hundreds of reference photographs of reenactors and their collections of supplies that reflected the period they were representing. And from lectures and informal conversations, I gained an appreciation for the lives of the natives and the settlers who lived in Colonial Florida.
Thus, I choose to tell their stories with illustrations that hopefully will carry the viewer back in time. I have painted scenes of Spanish soldiers at Fort Matanzas, women cooking in St. Augustine, a European trader negotiating with a native, hunters leaving their cabin to search for game, and Colonial residents conversing in the street. My largest and most complex painting is a commissioned piece that shows native Timucuan Indians preparing an area for planting. In each one I attempt to tell a story and to recreate the lives of the people who lived here in an earlier time.