In preparing for a speech on my artwork a couple of weeks ago, I uncovered some relics from my past. Seeing that this blog started little more than 2 years ago, I though I might give some backstory on myself and show these first paintings.
I am the eldest of 3 children born to Rosalyn and David Boyd of Newnan, GA (just south of Atlanta). I have 2 younger sisters, Rosalyn Moore and Bonne, both married now with children. My father is an editorial cartoonist and illustrator for comedian Jeff Foxworthy and the series of You Might Be a Redneck If... books.
The folks always encourage my artistic endeavors as did my teachers in high school. I attended SCAD from 1991-95 and returned with home with no job and no hope and a degree in illustration, a field that was in revolt as the computer came into being. Having been a house painter for a construction company during summers and winter breaks, I created The After Midnight Painting Co. Being from a respected family brought many great painting opportunities for me, however the long days and hard work quickly drove me into the ground... managing clients, workers and painting 12hrs a day was killing me.
As, luck would have it, my old art teacher had enough and was retiring. I filled in for her and quickly grew to love teaching. I have been the middle and upper school art teacher at the Heritage School in Newnan for over 15 years now.
I continued to teach and die a little bit every day as I was doing nothing for myself. I was in a town that cared little for art, I had friends who really never understood what I did or what I loved. In that type of environment I withered away. I did logos and painted murals here and there, but that was just for the money and never went anywhere.
In 2003, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and I had to take his place at Mark Morgan Syndicated Features, Inc. My father started this company in 1970, three years before I was born and he had never missed a cartoon deadline. This helped me get back on the horse, but It was very difficult. Three cartoons a week, holding down a full time job, watching a ton of news and dreading every weekend.
I dabbled a bit in painting around this time as well, I will show those images in a future post. In 2005 I quit smoking in an attempt to quit drinking so I could clear my head. Out of the haZe came the realiZation that I wanted to be a painter, but know nothing about it. I had my first workshop with friend and mentor Millie Gosch in the winter of 2006 and I have never looked back.
My life was changed forever. I dream in oils I can't wait to get home everyday to paint. Vacations are time for me to paint LARGE which is all I want to do. Small pieces are great, but nothing feels better than knocking out a giant.
These image that I have posted are the first real paintings I ever did. The tree still is a recurring image and theme in my work. 15 years after the first piece, I still paint trees... mostly from south Georgia, born out of the windshield of my '79 Toyota Land Cruiser as I made my midnight runs from Newnan to Savannah and Charleston.
I see these paintings now, and I am surprised. Sometimes I feel like I knew more then that I do now...