Many people have been
influential to me throughout my career, and I would like express
my heartfelt thanks to each and every one.
Where do I begin? My teachers throughout my educational years
in Elementary and High School must have seen a spark some place,
and they were very encouraging to me in my formative years. The
instructors that I worked under at Layton School of Art in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, gave me the formal and classical art education that
is very hard to come by in todays art world. I have had
many friends, artists and others that have influenced me and
continue to do so throughout my life.
So many people have given
me so much, but the two people that gave me the most were my
two parents, Harold and Mildred Backhaus. Bless their hearts,
they have both since passed on. They were two people that loved
life and shared their love of life with their four children.
Farmers by trade they raised their family in a small community
My first introduction
to anything having to do with art came from observing my Father
sketching on a piece of scrap paper at the dinner table. He had
no formal art training but had a natural eye for observing and
mimicking what he saw with pencil on paper. As a youngster hardly
big enough to see over the edge of the table, I grasped tight
with my hands and stood on my tip toes to see as close as I could.
At that moment I was as captivated and hooked for life.
I believe at that point
I knew what I wanted to do with any spare time I had, and at
that age, a little kid has a lot of spare time. I drew, drew
and drew some more, and when I had ran out of pencils and paper,
my parents found more. Holidays and Birthdays were celebrated
with many gifts in the art category. If I wasnt drawing,
I was off exploring the great outdoors, one of my other great
Those early years of
exploration gave me the wanderlust spirit that I have today.
I have a nomadic force that fits the perfect style of the outdoor
painter. Today I love both my time at home in the studio and
the time I have to explore the wonderful world. My days of education
have not ended; today experience is the best teacher for me.
I continue to learn every day. The day that the learning stops
will be the day I stop.
My gratitude goes out
to many; I have been blessed so many times over.