All I ever wanted to do was be a painter...
Growing up in a small town in southeastern Indiana, I have always had a great appreciation for the beauty of untouched wildlife and nature. Neighbors were scattered sparsely along the fields, roads and creeks that defined them, and exploring nature became my favorite pastime and fills my earliest memories.
My grandmother, who had some experience painting, let me paint on butcher paper with watercolors. There, on the floor of the kitchen, with rolls of space on which to work, I first experienced the feel of a soft brush imbuing colors before my curious eyes.
I had many ways to experience the freedom of creation. My walks in the woods filled my mind with color. I began to understand forms and how they relate. As a child, our family traveled and camped all over the United States, giving me unforgettable memories of wildlife and geographic wonders.
Later, my father, Robert Bush, worked as an artist in our home. I watched him paint whenever I could, and was fascinated with his ability to capture light and color. At my request, he took me under his wing and I became one of his students. I spent several years studying and painting nearly every day. By the age of nineteen, I was helping my dad teach oil painting classes and showing my work in the Cincinnati area.
I moved to Austin, Texas in 1984, and continued to study art. I found the city very inspiring, and learned some valuable lessons from artist Dahlhart Winberg and others. I enjoyed collaborating with other artists with whom I could meet and share ideas.
When I moved to the Tampa Bay area of Florida in 1989, I was seeking the wondrous wildlife I had only seen during brief vacations to the area. Florida was a whole new extension of my creative evolution. Bird feathers, fish scales, water reflection on the Gulf of Mexico – all required much practice and study before I felt able to convey the mood I so earnestly desired in my craft.
I have always agreed with artist Andrew Wyeth’s view that the painting tells the story, and the details are another matter entirely. Now I paint and use my art work to touch and inspire others. To me, that is the only reality in this work I so much love.