Foreward ... Looking Back
When Santa Cruz comes to mind, images of our sandy beaches, vibrant downtown, rollicking boardwalk, even the San Lorenzo River's gorgeous Gorge and redwoods are all there, too. But for many of us, also included are the old cottages and mansions of Beach Hill, Walnut Avenue or Ocean View, which come into mind as well.
Santa Cruz is so very fortunate to have retained an abundance of those great homes that give us a window into another era. They are the strongest remaining evidence of the Gilded Age, and what remains they are! My passion has been to evoke that almost forgotten period, through sunshine, fog and storm.
I spent my youth on a large dairy farm and grew up sketching and painting the farms, fields and forests around western Ohio. Upon my entry into Santa Cruz County in 1975, the old homes inspired me to portray them the best way I knew – in pen and ink. I've been drawing them now almost continuously for over 35 years.
From the beginning, I couldn't help but notice the artistic flowering that the area inspired in the local community. And it has been a continual delight to ride my bike among the homes that have become familiar friends sometimes many years before they are finally portrayed on paper.
Many structures in Santa Cruz have been especially precious to us, some that died in the terrible earthquake of '1989, especially the Cooper House, the aura of it is still remembered by many of us. But we still have the Golden Gate Villa on Beach Hill, and the Sesnon House in Aptos.
My goal is to continue to attempt to open peoples' eyes to the flow of detail and design of these structures, many of which came down over the years for so many reasons: earthquake and fire, cost of upkeep, or were razed to allow for businesses on those prime locations.
So let's treasure those that we still have among us, and admire the richness of artistry that they possess.
I deeply thank those who have inspired me and helped with bringing this book to fruition.