RE: Aviation Art, History and My Art
Our journey began when I was enrolled in a class at ASU, and it was during that time that my painting mentor, Leandro Soto, who also happened to be a professor at the university, encouraged me to delve into painting. Despite having already published a book at that point, I believed that was the end of my artistic pursuits.
Leandro inspired me to approach aviation art in a completely fresh manner, which initially left me uncertain. Typically, art within our community tends to be photorealistic, often depicting aircraft that hold emotional significance for engineers or pilots, such as a B-24 Liberator engaged in a crucial World War II battle. (Had I been directed toward aviation after high school, I might have pursued a career as a pilot.)
Leandro suggested a name for the “exhibition” he wanted me to create: Flying Over Time. ASU subsequently provided funding after I won first prize in a university art show.
In my work, I blend my art with my grandfather’s black and white photography. I build upon his photographs to tell our story from new perspectives, capturing the wonder and fascination a child experiences while observing the world of flight. I strive to evoke that sense of joy and excitement felt during the initial sighting of an aircraft, all while employing professional painting techniques.
Leandro urged me to study masters such as Rochenberg, De Kooning, and Chagall, but with a distinctive color palette that differentiates my art from the conventional “aviation art” marketed to enthusiasts.
Sadly, Leandro passed away last year, but his inspiration continues to propel me to new heights. Some of my recent paintings and custom works explore archetypes and challenge the notion of the “hero,” as I believe we are all imperfect as human beings. This perspective finds its way into my art.
Thank you once again for reaching out. If you have provided your address (which you may have included in the form), I would be delighted to send you a postcard featuring one of my grandfather’s photographs.
Wishing you all the best,