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TYL ... What's It All About?

The letters TYL have accompanied my artwork for over 30 years. They appear near my signature on every original and reproduction I create. Why are they there? What do they mean? They are without a doubt the most frequently asked questions regarding my art. I must confess, that there have been moments when I’ve regretted the day I decided to use those letters. I am often in a gathering where only a quick response to this question is possible. I fear, at those times, in the interest of brevity, I have offered a response to that all important question that could be perceived as trite or maybe even confusing. That simply is not fair to the one who really wants to know… someone who is truly seeking an answer.

Many years ago I had some question…Big ones! “Why am I here”? “What’s life about”? “Where am I going”? As I started my search, through a series of events and relationships, I began to receive answers, answers I never expected, but answers that would eventually have a dramatic impact on my life. After a careful and thoughtful self examination, I recognized that my life was not right with God. This raised more questions but by August 1966 the big ones were satisfied. It was then that I made a life changing decision to begin a personal relationship with God through his Son Jesus Christ. Because of that one decision my entire life changed. The artwork I now produce represents just one of the many wonderful things God has done in my life since that day.

In studying the works of the great masters, I was amazed to discover how many of them wrestled with the same big questions that many of us do today. Leonardo DaVinci, on his deathbed, actually apologized to God for “not working as I ought at my craft”. He had created The Last Supper, The Mona Lisa, and countless other masterpieces. Yet at the end of his life, he felt he had not adequately represented God in his work. As an artist, I understand his struggle. I too want people to see God’s beauty, His creation, and His vastness in my paintings. Yet no matter what I do, or how much of nature I represent in my work, it is only a tiny glimpse into the greatness of God. He is much greater that any art or artist. That is why every time I complete a work of art, I include three small initials TYL. They mean “Thank You Lord”. It’s simply my way of expressing to God my appreciation and deep thanks for what he has done and continues to do in my life.