‘Finding a new passion at my age is really exciting. Anybody who has any type of passion should move forward with it at any age.’
“My mother dabbled in art, so I was interested as a kid, but I never took an art class. I didn’t start drawing until I was in college and I did one charcoal drawing when I had spare time. It was a pair of shoes that melded into dried, cracked earth. Now I am exhibiting it. After that, I hadn’t done many drawings until I retired about seven years ago. It started out as a hobby.
“People really seemed to like my charcoal drawings. I focused on Long Island and New York City landmarks using photographs that I took. We went on a lot of family trips over the years, so I would use those photos too. Now I’m introducing pastel and splashes of color in my drawing. My wife thinks I draw a lot of architecture because I wanted to be an architect in high school; maybe that’s why my work is very detail-oriented. I’m still using my T-Square that I had used for architectural drawing.
I found Rebuilding Together Long Island. We do safety repairs for existing homeowners that can’t afford to maintain their homes. It’s done by volunteers of mostly retired people. It is very gratifying.
“I always said that if I’m successful in what I’m doing in my career, I have to give back. I do that through my art, but when I retired, I also looked for an organization that was going to have an immediate impact on the community. I found Rebuilding Together Long Island. We do safety repairs for existing homeowners that can’t afford to maintain their homes. Whether it’s electrical, plumbing, floors, fixing Sheetrock — it’s all free. It’s done by volunteers of mostly retired people. It is very gratifying.
“During the pandemic, we built desks for low-income areas that have kids that can’t afford desks or even space for them. It promoted good study habits too. I want to keep challenging myself because I feel like I can do a lot. I’m still pinching myself because people like my work. It takes me four months to make some of it. I’ve had some solo art shows and I’ve been accepted into rotational art programs. I won first place for charcoal drawings in one of them. I’ve been included in library galleries all across Long Island. I’m able to do something that I enjoy, so I consider myself extremely lucky. I owe that to my mother. On my drawing table, I have a photo of her drawing. Finding a new passion at my age is really exciting. Anybody who has any type of passion should move forward with it at any age.”