I was born October 7th 1962,in Rochester, N.Y. My artistic talents were first recognized at 8 years old when I used to always draw cars, animals and comic book characters. My formative years were spent in Flint, Michigan where I was always encouraged by my Mom and family members to hone my skills and be constantly challenged by my peers to see who was the best artist. Music also played a big part in my life because my Mom would usually have jazz playing on the ‘box’ and my brother was the ultimate musician/performer. This kind of atmosphere was thoroughly enriching and made it easy for me to express myself and explore new ideas. In short, I was allowed to be me!
I spent my summers in Rochester visiting my father David Sr., whom had re-married (Lilly)and had two more children (Brian and Cristal). My father and huge extended family (Haygood's and Washington's) made it an easy decision to move back to Rochester after I graduated high school in 1980 because of the love and support that was shown. My father has played a major role in my life and shown what it means to be a real man and provider for your family.I count myself as truly Blessed to have such parents.
I believe in my heart that my artistic talents were passed down from my grandfather Harry Shaw on my mother's side. He was an exceptional master photographer. He had a way of seeing the world and composing an image that was undeniable. He would take me on some of his assignments and show me the "art" of capturing an image. This is why I place a strong priority on composition and having something to say.
Later on in the 10th grade, my art teacher introduced me to the airbrush... this changed everything and opened up a new world because of its versatility. I spent the next few years developing shading techniques in pencil and mastering the airbrush. Because I’m pretty much self-taught, I lean toward realism and trying to capture every detail. It wasn’t until 1998 that I finally tried oil paint and its taken me to a whole new level of depth and expression. It has also caused me to research and study how the medium has been used and challenge myself to dig deeper within. I’ve since added pastels and watercolor to my repertoire. I also plan to someday try sculpturing in bronze.
My favorite subject is the human body, which in my opinion, is the greatest invention ever! When I paint portraits I start and finish with the eyes because they tell the story. I find people in general to be intriguing because everyone has their own story and because there’s so much we can learn from each others experiences. I believe whenever I paint I have to have something to say and I also try to paint positive, spiritual and uplifting images. I believe a painting should draw the viewer into it and cause dialog .I feel closest to God when I’m painting... and that’s true joy!
I‘ve lived in Rochester since 80’and have worked as an assessor for the city since 85’. My first print ‘Endangered’ was released in 91’ and as of 99’, I’m self- published. The summer of 96’ I began a spiritual awakening which inspired the painting ‘yes Lord’ which ask the question of what would it be like to surrender to the Lord and accept his son Jesus as my savior. Easter of 97’ I received the Holy Spirit in the House of God Church and now I know what it truly means to be blessed! My wife Carolyn and I met in 86’ and we married in 90’.God blessed us in 93’ with our beautiful daughter Brieana who inspired the painting ‘Heaven Sent’. I love to teach what I know to youth who have the talent and want to learn more because so many lack guidence and need positive direction. I am truly blessed and I believe I was given this gift to share with and inspire others.
Please feel free to ask me any questions about my work, advice, shows or anything art related. The pleasure is all mine.
Thank you and God Bless !!!