My background in art has been quite varied over the last 50 or more years. When I was very young, I wanted to be a naturalist, much like John J. Audubon, who was my hero when I was growing up. Drawing animals and coloring them in was one of the things I liked doing more than anything in the world. Later, as I got into high school, my interest shifted to... drawing pictures of naked women.
My uncle, Bubby Huye (my mother’s brother) was a commercial artist in Baton Rouge, and I wanted to be just like him. I simply did not have the ability to draw as well as Bubby did. So, I cheated.
Back then, there were few pictures of nude women around—generally, only in art books and in the form of paintings. Just like so many other young boys, I also discovered National Geographic and learned how naked women looked.
Over the years, I learned I would never be an artist with an ability to draw well. Drawing is a discipline and it can be learned, but what cannot be learned is how to see something and take that something from one’s head, from memory, and convey it as an accurate drawing onto a piece of paper. Drawing was never going to be one of my best assets. I took to photography to overcome this shortcoming, and to be able to accomplish the fantasies that were filling up my head.
If I had known back then just how much I would come to love photography, I would have gone much further with it than I did. It was just a tool for me to facilitate what I loved doing, painting watercolors. I never loved any form of art nearly as much as I loved painting. I did not think of it so much as art, but rather as a way of placing onto paper the brilliant colors and designs that my mind dreamed up.
From that beginning, I went through most of my life caught up with my love for women and wildlife. Over the years since, I found that nothing ever changed much. I made a living in several different endeavors, but I found that I always drifted back to my form of art.
“When I was 16, my father was the most ignorant man in the world. By the time I reached 21, I was surprised at how much he had learned in five years.” Mark Twain.