My early career began out of high school traveling to festivals. Time was spent with caricatures, portraits and illustration. Going through many different media, styles and cities, traditional oil paintings of wildlife became my passion for many years, with an occasional portrait commission. I never turned down a restoration project. The travel and researching nature in the wild was my greatest joy.
After 45/50 years of traveling alone on the road, safety was becoming an issue. A serious illness brought a temporary halt so I could review my career. Confined at home for a short period, I took up the "hobby" of doll carving. My People Indian dolls was born and has flourished with little effort on my part. Researching the folk tales of Indigenous North American tribes became a new passion and I published 8 paper back books with illustrations.
These tales metamorphosed into the wooden dolls I create today. I bring characters to life from the stories told to Indian children about their history, culture and beliefs.
I claim my heritage through mother (both grandparents were of Indian heritage). Grandmother was of the Onandaga (People of The Hills) nation of the great Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaune: People of The Long House). The Iroquois peoples came together under the Peace Maker, Deganawedah, and Hiawatha to form a 5 nation (now 6) union. The war axe was buried beneath the Peace Tree on the banks of a river to be washed away for all times.
They were hunters, farmers and gatherers who built long houses to contain entire families. They tapped sap to make syrup, created orchards, raised turkey, fished and celebrate annual days of harvest and planting giving thanks daily. They created a set of laws that was a guide for the US Constitution and fly the oldest flag in world. This nation practiced forms of group therapy, natural healing and dream interpretation. The proudest of peoples, they respect nature and possess an understanding of the Great Mystery. In times of war, they were most feared. At their peak of population in America, they spanned from New York into the Ohio Valley. In recent times, the Mohawk are known as the fearless steel workers who built New York City. The largest population of the Haudenosaunee Nation now reside in Canada. A-Ho!
I am Iroquois and proud of it. Because records were lost, I must state here that all my works are a non Native American craft.