How I Got Here
I’ve been an professional artist since 1993 when I got out of the Marine Corps and went to Florida to work in the theme parks as a scenic artist. I worked all over the U.S. and in Portugal and Holland building aquarium, museum and zoo exhibits. After getting injured in Holland, I went back to Tucson to recover and ended up starting my own mural company which later lead to a degree in Interior Design and a contracting company for paint and murals.
When I moved back from Colorado to Tucson in 2008, I joined up with my local fly shop Drycreek Outfitters and the gentlemen there got me into Project Healing Waters. I learned to cast better, tie flies, and build a fly rod. Which then lead me to want to build a fly rod case out of leather. I found that leather was my favorite medium and I started creating cases, handbags and other accessories. I found that I could sell online and that opened a brand new direction for me. I packed up everything I had and put it in storage, bought an RV and took off out of Tucson to find all the rivers that I heard of. I was out for about a year and a half and then went to Pendleton, Oregon for it's annual leather convention. I met Monte Beckman and then had the opportunity to rent his old shop at 141 S Main Street January 1, 2015. After opening my store, the Veteran's Administration granted me another shot at earning my Bachelor's degree at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. I have a double major in Cinema Studies and Art & Technology Animation due to graduate in June 2019.
I was offered a position as Artist in Residence at the McKenzie River Inn, Vida, Oregon. I help Bert de Klerk, the owner of the resort, with aesthetics, remodeling, marketing and we are now developing an Artist Retreat program starting this summer 2018. Several award winning artists have signed on to teach classes along with Annie, in combination with fly fishing and other outdoor adventures.