Q: When and where did you start your career in the visual arts?
A: My journey to becoming an artist was circuitous. In the mid-1980s I was a thirty-something Navy lieutenant. I worked a soul-crushing job as a computer analyst on the midnight shift in a Pentagon basement. We were open 24/7 and supported the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Remembering the joyful Saturdays of my youth in New Jersey, when I had studied with a local painter, I enrolled in a drawing class at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia. I loved it! I took more classes and became a highly motivated, full-time art student who worked nights at the Pentagon. After two years and as my skills improved, I discovered my preferred medium – soft pastel on sandpaper.
I knew I had found my calling, submitted my resignation, and left active duty. On October 1, 1989 I became a professional artist. However, I remained in the Navy Reserve for another fourteen years, working at the Pentagon one weekend a month. On November 1, 2003, I retired as a Navy Commander.
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Posted on November 24, 2018, in An Artist's Life, Studio and tagged 24/7, active duty, Alexandria (VA), Art League School, art student, artist, basement, career, circuitous, Commander, computer analyst, drawing class, enrolled, found my calling, Joint Chiefs of Staff, journey, joyful, local painter, midnight shift, Navy lieutenant, Navy Reserve, New Jersey, Pentagon, preferred medium, professional artist, resignation, Saturdays, skills, soft pastel on sandpaper, soul-crushing, Studio, submitted, visual arts, weekend. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.