My Artist Vitae

A few things about me

       Since 1970, I had spent many years as an advertising copywriter. In between I also tried to get involved in professional theatre, and before that the movies. Never did get very far in any of those, but copywriting, as a skill, did keep the rent paid and me fed for a good part of my adult life. (Although I never could save a dime.) Before that I did a stint with an actual commune in the late 60's and before that I was enduring the long process of trying to get educated.
        I was born just outside Chicago and grew up in the notorious town of Cicero, IL.  By age 23 I started moving around a lot, first to Hollywood, then to Arkansas (the commune) then to Phoenix which is where I began my advertising life. By 1978, I was fed up (again) and moved to New York, just like that, with 200 bucks. I kept up copywriting and hanging around non-professional theatre, but there in 1982, needing a birthday present for somebody who had everything, I spotted an expensive simple brass mask in a fashionable store. Well, I decided I could make a mask myself to be the present, and I did, and it was very well received.
        From then on, I became very engrossed and engaged in mask making in all its forms, as a creative expression, and so began the artful life. Fed up (again, this time with New York) I returned to my native home town Chicago in 1985 and I found myself making masks for independent theatre productions and creating mask pieces as wall sculpture.
         Then, right there in January of 1986, at nearly 41 years of age, an event took place which altered forever my entire existence: I met Henry. We melded our lives together and we’re still together and we've created quite a wonderful  life for ourselves.
          Around the end of 1987, I managed to develop a mask making workshop for kids and, through an agency, I presented it in public schools in and around Chicago.  The mask creating culminated in a one-man show of my work at a prestigious non-profit gallery in 1990. (See Masks, One-Man Show.)  It was a fine artistic success, but I didn’t sell a thing.
          Henry and I decided it was time to follow our dream to live in New Mexico so we moved to Silver City in October of 1990. Continuing mask making and other mixed media work, I also ventured into photography. I had a few shows there of my various efforts and by the time we moved up to Albuquerque in 1998 I was getting pretty good with a camera (even if I do say so myself.) After a brief interlude working with a theatre group and then opening and closing a gallery,  I published a small book in 2005-2006. It was then that I discovered digital photography, and digital imaging, and now I nearly exclusively work with digital photos and digital montage in Photoshop.
          This web site is simply an opportunity to show some of my work from more than 30 years of practicing. Just go to my contact page if you’d like to e-mail me and talk about any of my work, or to leave a comment there in the blog spot. Thanks for visiting my site.

Photo by Singeli Agnew

A few more things about me
A long detailed resume is tiresome. So I'll just say that I've been a writer, actor, director, producer, designer, artist, craft maker, photographer and lots of things in between. (Even sold cosmetics once.) Never made much money or achieved any fame, but it's been very heart-rewarding so what the heck. I like to cook, entertain a few friends, arrange flowers – especially the ikebana style – garden a bit, and I never get tired of making photos of the mesmerizing high desert environments around New Mexico. I believe there's a plan in life if you make that plan. Just  keep going and if things fall apart, then... make another plan!

Love and acceptance and forgiveness is the best we can offer to each other on this troubled earth. Henry and I do the best we can for ourselves and for others, the best we can to make the world even a tiny bit better and to be compassionate whenever possible.

All images © Peter Grahame, Ironic Horse Cyber Studio, Albuquerque. Please do not reproduce images in any manner at all without permission from the artist.