I was born in southern Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta, Canada at age 12, where I stayed until I moved to the US. Currently I live in the bay area, California. The mountains which feature so prominently in many of my paintings are definitely inspired by the Canadian Rockies, which were an huge influence on me personally and artistically.
I was always drawing and painting as a child, and I just never seem to have stopped. Not that I was particularly gifted or talented as a child, I just enjoyed playing with paints and colours too much to stop. School assignments were often an excuse to draw something, and I was constantly filling sketch books and notebooks with doodles, drawings and such. As I was leaving high school, I realized that there was nothing else I enjoyed as much as artwork, so I canceled all my engineering classes at university, switched my major to Art, and haven't looked back since.
Not surprisingly, landscapes play a major role. It was landscape art that got me started drawing and painting as a child, and it remains my first love to paint. I was also heavily influenced by Tolkien's works. I had most of the Lord of the Rings read to me in the 2nd grade, and it has remained a huge influence and favored reading ever since.
I have also always had a love for old, beautiful art. The really good pieces that you see in museums and art history books. Everyone from Vermeer and Rembrandt to Reubens, Leonardo and Halls. From old Venetian painting to the Academic and pre-Raphaelite artists. Church and Bierstadt, Sargent and Alma-Tadema - the list goes on and on. Not all landscape painters, by any means, but all of them good painters, and all of them fascinated with the play of light across their subject.
Yes, I am happy to sign card by mail.
Please send them to 1389 Jefferson Street, Oakland, CA, USA, and allow several weeks at least for return of your cards, and please, included a self addressed, stamped envelope. If your cards are valuable, please send them insured, as the postal system does occasionally lose or destroy items.
I actually started in book publishing, doing covers and interiors for books and magazines, and fell into Magic quite by accident. However, once that maelstrom got started, it was hard to stop. Since then, I have worked on about 9 different card games, including Middle Earth: the Wizards, Shadowfist, Legend of the 5 Rings, Anachronism, Vampire: the Masquerade and Judge Dredd.
Lately, I have also spent a fair number of hours at the drawing table doing concept art, initially for Wizards, then for video game clients such as Microsoft and Sony Online Entertainment.
On those rare times I get to work on something just for myself, I can usually be found at a life painting class, as there is nothing as educational, relaxing and satisfying as painting from life.
Tough call. I loved the early pieces, as they were so wide open and creative, but my recent works were also very satisfying to paint. I would have to say Underground Sea and Spectral Cloak from the early days, and Temple Garden and Overgrown Tomb from the recent sets, but as I said, it's a tough call.
Three main pieces of advice. First off, paint from real life. Any form of representational painting is all about making something look real, whether it be the bowl of fruit on your table, or an alien world. That requires a good understanding of the natural world, how it works, how it looks, and why. You can not paint what you do not know. Nature is the best teacher you will ever have, and the best source of inspiration there is.
Secondly, paint what you love. When you get down to it, it's not that hard to learn to paint something and have it look realistic. Not to say it's easy, but it's something which can definitely be learned. Therefore, the thing which will separate your work from anyone else's is not how well you can render, but how much of yourself comes through in your work. The one unique aspect to any artist work is the inherent personality of the artist upon which the work is built.
Lastly, practice, practice, practice. This is one vocation which you will never master, and which will constantly challenge you. Learn to embrace the challenge, fall in love with the process, and try to make every painting better than your last one.
There are a lot - I stopped counting at about 100. New cards are always being added, but I will attempt to keep the list current.
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