I started painting in 1942 when I was 9 years old, using ordinary house paint thickened with corn starch.
Bristles cut off old, worn out paint brushes and glued to pencils served well enough for me to paint on cardboard which was free and plentiful.
I painted prodigiously for about a year before giving up entirely. But, when I was 12 years old and in grade 8, our teacher, Miss Bowes brought a pile of National Geographic magazines to class for us students to peruse.
In one of them was an article about the south of France which displayed a number of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. I was struck by the similarity to my childish work of 3 years past. However, I wasn't sufficiently inspired to take up painting again. That didn't happen until 1960.
When I was 16 I took teenage rebellion several steps too far and began committing armed robberies on a somewhat regular basis. After a chase across western Canada and the United States I was finally caught.
Although authorities professed I had committed over 200 offences I was eventually convicted of only 47.
When I got out, after serving just under 4 years, I headed to Prince Rupert, in northern British Columbia, just south of the Alaskan panhandle, where I got a job in the Columbia Cellulose paper mill. In the evenings I wrote, and was lucky to sell 2 radio plays to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The plays were later performed by Little Theatre groups and broadcast across Canada. When the local Prince Rupert CBC station (CFPR) actors were rehearsing my play, "Agreement In Crime"... the lead player, Merlin Gutenson ran into trouble interpreting his character. The station manager, Will Hankinson, reminded them that the author lived in Prince Rupert and suggested they call on me for advice. At any rate I ended up acting the part, after which the station hired me as an announcer which was the beginning of a 30 year career in broadcasting, of which I enjoyed every second.
After 3 years I was transferred to CBC Regina, Saskatchewan, where I fell in love with the record librarian. She had already planned a move to Calgary, Alberta, so I resigned from the CBC and joined CKXL, Calgary.
The love affair didn't work out, but I flourished in the stampede city. I managed to garner #1 ratings and began selling myself to the highest bidder. After CKXL it was CFCN radio and TV, CHQR radio and finally, CFAC Radio and TV, where I spent the last 16 years of my 30 year career.
I was with CFCN when I took up painting again, starting with a portrait of the Nazi big shot, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, which was immediately purchased by a Calgary businessman who professed he had known Kaltenbrunner during the war.
Since then, I have produced several thousand paintings and sculptures in various styles and techniques and, unfortunately of varying quality.