Disabled Vet, Fencing Coach, and Prolific Artist – Paintings, Wood Carvings, and a Journey of Artistry
My artistic journey is a unique one that began as an unexpected twist in my life. Unlike many artists who discover their passion early on, my path to becoming an artist emerged as a side effect of the 2020 quarantine, evolving over three transformative years into what it is today.
Artistic Family Heritage: My artistic roots trace back to a family with a deep-seated artistic heritage. On my dad’s side, my grandfather, Lloyd Cogley, a classically trained artist, possessed a remarkable ability to work with diverse mediums and create intricate decorative tile pieces. My grandmother, Sue Cogley, was also formally trained and their home was a treasure trove of artistic wonders. Our visits were like artistic adventures, never knowing what masterpiece we’d discover next. Their influence left an indelible mark on my creative journey.
Multi-Talented Family: Creativity runs in my family’s veins. My uncles Thomas and Mike are artists, with Thomas actively practicing his craft in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Uncle Jim expresses his creativity through music, while my dad excels in leatherwork and passed down the fundamentals of drawing to me. On my mom’s side, while art was less emphasized, one of my uncles was a talented painter, and my mom discovered her gift for knitting artwork into a variety of items, from bags to blankets and clothing. My brother Tim was the standout artist among us kids, his drawings demonstrating exceptional talent from a young age.
Fencing Career: My early twenties were dedicated to fencing. I was deeply immersed in the sport, competing and managing the Fenian Academy of Fencing in Vancouver, Washington. Under my guidance, the studio excelled, and I achieved the rank of Provost at Arms through the San Jose State University Fencing Master’s Program. I owned, directed, and served as the head coach, specializing in teaching a powerful traditional Italian fencing style.
Military Service: At the age of 28, I made a pivotal decision to join the US Navy as a Corpsman, driven by the desire to secure a prosperous future for my family. Over nearly 11 years, my service took me to various units, including 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance, the School of Infantry-West, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, and finally, as an instructor at a Corpsman Basic school in Texas. My military journey was both fulfilling and challenging, ultimately leading to a full disability.
Artistic Awakening: Fast forward to 2020, when the world went into lockdown. The pandemic prompted me to seek new ways to spend my time, and that’s when art entered my life. My initial focus was wood carving on axes, a hobby that quickly transformed into a successful side gig, with more than 300 carving projects completed for clients.
Venturing into Painting: However, in February 2023, my artistic journey took another significant turn. I encountered a mesmerizing painting by former Marine and author of the book series ‘Smokepit Fiarytales’, Tripp Ainsworth. The painting featured a vivid neon-pink skeleton minuteman gazing down his musket, and it struck a deep chord within me. Although it was already claimed by another art enthusiast, that spark was lit. Armed with brushes, canvas, and paint, I tried my hand at painting. Remarkably, four out of the first five pieces I created were quickly sold, propelling me into the world of full-time painting.
Today, I wholeheartedly embrace my passion for painting, while still carving wood whenever woodworking orders arrive. My artistic journey is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and resilience in the face of life’s unexpected twists.
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Passionate Artistry: Exploring a Kaleidoscope of Themes and Styles
As an artist, my creative journey is a testament to my unbridled passion for diverse themes and artistic styles. While I relish the opportunity to immerse myself in a wide array of artistic expressions, I have distinct favorites that ignite my creative spirit and captivate my audience.
Ships and Maritime: Nautical artistry is my forte, and I find endless inspiration in the graceful forms of ships, the vastness of the ocean, and the rich maritime history. Dive into my collection of ship-themed artworks, where I strive to capture the allure and grandeur of seafaring vessels, from classic tall ships to modern warships.
Science Fiction Wonders: The boundless world of science fiction fuels my imagination. From futuristic cityscapes to alien landscapes and imaginative technology, I revel in the limitless possibilities this genre offers. Explore my science fiction-inspired artworks that transport you to otherworldly realms and futuristic utopias.
Aviation Marvels: Aviation enthusiasts and history aficionados will find delight in my aviation-themed art. Whether it’s the sleek lines of contemporary aircraft or the iconic planes from the World War II era, I aim to convey the thrill of flight and the engineering marvels that grace our skies.
World War II Chronicles: History comes alive in my World War II-themed artworks, where I pay homage to the bravery, sacrifice, and heroism of individuals during this pivotal period. Delve into my tribute to the courage and resilience of those who lived through one of the most transformative epochs in history.
Bottles as Art: The simplicity and elegance of bottles as artistic subjects intrigue me deeply, especially combined with the excitement of a story inside them. I celebrate the interplay of light and glass, capturing the ethereal beauty of these favorited objects. Explore my collection of bottle-themed artworks that evoke a sense of nostalgia and adventure.
A few are still available!