Since early childhood I've been fascinated by flight and the machines that take us into the sky.
Today I live less than a mile from a private airfield, so I hear and see airplanes taking off and landing daily. Occasionally, when I'm lucky, a vintage warbird roars over my neighborhood.
I grew up in a home full of art -- primarily realist paintings. My father was a college art professor and is still a watercolor painter whose expertise in transparent and mixed media blossomed during a period when he became intrigued with industrial scenes and landscapes. Through his work, he found the hidden beauty and mystique of old, well-used steel mills, oil refineries, dockyards, auto plants, and more. (You can learn more about Don Lake at his website.)
My own art is undoubtedly influenced by my father's work, but my medium has been photography and digital artwork. Although I love the textures, colors, and smells of paints, pastels, and pencils, my patience is too limited to fully develop the images in my mind on paper. Thus, I gravitated to the immediacy of photography. I have fond memories of long hours in the darkroom with Dektol and polycontrast papers.
I was also fortunate enough to catch the Internet wave early in the 1990s, and my career working in magazine and book publishing naturally expanded into web design and digital publishing. My photography also evolved into digital formats with the advent of affordable, high-quality print and film scanners. Although I lusted after the new technology of digital SLR equipment, prices in the thousands of dollars were well beyond my financial means, and my part-time ventures in wedding and studio portrait photography fell by the wayside. Shooting film and using commercial labs was more expensive and took much more time than digital proofing, and I was unable to compete on both service and price with those who had invested in digital studio workflows.
Nevertheless, web development, digital marketing, and copywriting have kept a roof over my head, and photography and art have continued to be sources of pleasure, personal satisfaction, and occasional financial reward.
Now, with Classic Air Prints, I'm seeing all my talents come together in one unified mission: bringing the thrill of aviation to life in fine art prints. My goal is to celebrate the past, present, and future of flight in watercolor-inspired digital paintings, producing fine art galleries to grace the homes and offices of aviation collectors and enthusiasts.
I'm extremely excited about this work, and I hope you'll join me in this journey through the skies.
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