A little about my artistic journey..

This site has been in development and in planning stages for a very long time. It's actually part of a larger project to create a website system that will serve a wide number of artists... but more on that soon.  I’ve had the website “wheelercreek.com” for very long time, and had been using it for both my art and my web development business. Finally I decided that I needed to break them apart, and have a separate website to showcase and talk about just my art.  I've been on a long journey in my struggle to live life as an artist.

I always have known I wanted to be an artist.  It’s been my passion, and my dream since I was young.  I started drawing seriously around the age of 7.  And started oil painting at about the age of 14 or 15.  But I have a practical  streak in me as well.  In college I started as an art major - but quickly changed my mind out of fear that it wouldn’t be a practical way to earn a living.  Eventually, after switching around to a few different majors, and flirting seriously with the idea of teaching high school, I discovered the illustration degree program at BYU.  This seemed a good fit for me, as it was commercial (practical) and I could focus on realism, and even learn digital art - both of which I was intensely interested in. 

I took a long time getting my BFA (6 years).. of course most of that time was trying to figure out which degree I was actually working towards (and taking all kinds of interesting courses that didn’t count towards that eventual degree, but have proven to be surprisingly beneficial in many ways).   In time I took a career path towards the digital arts and web design.  As the years have passed, I have picked up a lot of web programming knowledge and skills.  My journey has taken me through a number of companies including digital design agencies, a manufacturing company, and - my home away from home - the Art Institute of Portland where I’ve been teaching a wide variety of courses for the past 12 years. 

I’ve never lost my love for painting and drawing however, and each time I started a new job or made a career decision, it has been with the goal of one day being a full-time artist.  I’ve tried to keep that dream alive, and have usually ended up quitting each job I landed - although several of them offered good career opportunities.  I found that if I go too long without creating some meaningful art (or at least attempting to) in a serious way, I begin to get very restless and start to feel like I've veered away too much from where I should be going. 

Finally about 4 years ago, I decided perhaps I could go on my own completely - spending my time both pursuing my art and developing websites for clients.  The web development side of my business has kept me very busy, and truthfully still has left me little time for painting.  I find that although I’m my own “boss”, it’s difficult to sit and work on a painting when I know that I have clients waiting on me to get their projects done. 

I do enjoy web programming and development, I have found that field to be interesting and rewarding as well.  But art is what I really love, and I know I want to make that a bigger part of my life.  So, as a step in that direction - I decided to create this site.  I hope you enjoy the work...