I recently had the opportunity to visit my dear friend, Joe Bowler, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Before heading to the island, I debated as to whether or not I should take a map with me just in case I got lost or ran into a detour. I realized that there was no need to do so because I had traveled down those familiar roads in the past and knew what lay ahead of me. Even if I were to encounter unexpected detours along the way, I felt confident enough to be able to navigate back to the main roads which would ultimately lead me to my destination.

Upon arriving, I attended the opening of Joe’s one man show at Morris & Whiteside Gallery. I spent the next day visiting with him in his studio as we talked about great painters of the past, shared ideas about art and techniques, looked at art books and had my work critiqued as well. We have done this many times before, since the day I first met Joe and his wife, Marilyn, as an art student back in college.

As I sat and listened to Joe’s advice, I couldn’t help but think of how he has been my artistic map through the years. He has traveled down roads which I have yet to experience and has valuable information about what may lay ahead. There have been times when I have taken detours or even veered off course but, like every great map, Joe has guided me towards the correct path in order to point me in a direction which will help to lead me towards my goals. His work has greatly influenced me over the years and I am constantly learning something new each time that I view his paintings. Not only is he the most talented artist that I have ever met, but he is also one of the greatest men that I have ever known.

Portrait painting by Joe Bowler


I have included some of his work on my Facebook page with the thought of inspiring others as much as Joe has inspired me over the years. I hope that it will encourage you on your own artistic path towards reaching your goals.