I grew up in a small town west of St. Louis, MO. To be more specific, I grew up in the woods outside of that small town. Not having many human children around, my dogs became my daily companions. These relationships made the choice of subject easy 13 years ago, and I've been painting dogs since.
Painting portraits requires an artist to have some sort of relationship with their subject, or at least, be striving to understand them. I enjoy the immediate connection that I have with dogs, and seeing their true selves is always enjoyable, and usually pretty humorous.
My first year as an art student, I was certainly interested in art, but definitely concerned that I wouldn't end up earning enough income to pay back the student loans I was incurring. So I switched to science and practiced as a Physical Therapist for about a decade. I had a dual-life for about 9 of those years, until I was able to concentrate on painting full time in 2011.