I grew up with my parents and four sisters in the small factory town of Ambler, in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. Ambler is a borough nestled along the Wissahickon Creek just outside of Philadelphia. The streets of Ambler were crowded with kids of all ages. We played touch football and kick the can, in the streets as a way of life. In the winter, sledding down the middle of steep snowy streets was an epic event.
Everyone was connected either through family or neighborhood. My sisters and I lived within one block of twelve first cousins. We went to the same Catholic grade school together with a few of us in every classroom. My father was both musical and artistic. He saw my interest in the arts at an early age and was eager to pass on his creative know how.
While Ambler was a busy and rough paced town, we spent our summers and our weekends with our grandparents in the rural outpost of Center Square. Our life there was ideal. We flew homemade kites and drank lemonade from shiny tin cups of assorted colors. Winters we skated on the frozen creeks.
Everything about Center Square was of a time gone by. The paint was chipped; the upholstery and wallpaper were worn and faded. It was a world of cut glass and crochet doilies. The drawers and closets were filled with nostalgia. Pathways of time were visible across the kitchen linoleum and hardwood floors. It was there we did our first watercolors.
With the encouragement of a few key people, I got myself into The Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. Hussian was a highly competitive commercial art college. My focus was on illustration. My influences were Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth, N.C. Wyeth, and Maxfield Parrish.
I moved into the city and lived in the artistic renaissance community of South Street. I began working. I painted signs, murals, and commissioned pieces. I illustrated books, magazines, and record covers.
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