I was born in Florence, Alabama in 1961. In 1962, my parents, along with my two sisters, moved back to their home town of Decatur, Alabama. With the exception of my time in college, I’ve lived in Decatur all of my life. I have a BS in Business Administration. I have a strong love of the outdoors and grew up hunting and fishing along the Tennessee River. As a teenager, I learned to deer and turkey hunt on a farm in Fayetteville, Tennessee. My sister’s and I have always had a love for art. In 1980, I attended a Wildfowl Festival at Calhoun Community College. Wildlife artists from all over the country participated. It was there that I saw for the first time, birds of all sizes being sculpted in wood. After that show, I was determined to learn how to do this. Within the past four years, two things happened in Decatur, that sparked my interest in creating and showing birds again. This was the construction of the Alabama Center for the Arts and the River Clay Festival. Those two events, along with the establishment of the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in 2003, and the Wheeler Refuge Crane Festival every January, bring many art and wildlife lovers to our town.
I now live about half a mile from Wheeler Refuge. I frequently take walks on the Refuge with my dog, Boone. He is a Labrador Retriever and loves the Refuge as much as I do. Every fall, I get to watch migrating waterfowl from my backyard as they make their way to Wheeler. Every November, the skies will be filled with the Sandhill Cranes, along with a small number of the endangered Whooping Cranes that make Decatur their home every winter. Every artist will encounter an occasional slump and lack of inspiration. One walk on Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge to see what God has created for us provides all the inspiration I need.