My life has been, and continues to be, influenced and inspired by water. Iíve always embraced and kept in touch with my surroundings. Growing up along the banks of Mobile Bay and spending a good portion of my childhood in Bayou La Batre and Coden, itís easy to understand my water influences.

As a child I loved looking at magazines with all the great illustrations. Artists were telling the stories with their paintings. I remember telling my parents when I was 12, this is what Iím going to do. Iím going to make up stories in my paintings. It wasnít until I was a junior in high school that I actually got to take art classes. I was in the band and didnít have time for art as well. During the winter of my junior year I was in a bad car wreck that ended my music career so our high school art teacher Bobby Carr found room for me in one of his art classes. I guess you could say, ďI got into art by accident.Ē

After high school off I went to Sarasota, Florida, to attend Ringling School of Art. What a magical time that was. Well-known professional artists who all had achieved a degree of notoriety in their careers instructed us. I was at last in my element and made every minute count. Time passed much too quickly but after Ringling I was off to conquer the world with a heightened sense of creativity, pen, pencil, and brush.

I have to say Iíve been very fortunate in my art career. I set goals when I was younger and have worked hard to achieve them with my art. My work has appeared in magazines such as Saturday Evening Post, People, Golf Digest, Bass Master, Southern Outdoors, Buck Master, and Saltwater Fisherman. I was commissioned by the Montgomery Zoo to create a painting that was made into limited edition prints, signed/numbered, and sold to raise money to build a natural habitat for the Golden Eagles. The National Fisheries Society commissioned a painting for their annual conference in New York. It now hangs in their national headquarters. In 1990 I won the Alabama Migratory Waterfowl Stamp competition.  I also enjoy drawing and painting people. A few years back I was asked to do a pencil drawing for the signature page of Colin Powellís book My American Journey. When I finished the drawing I decided it would be more valuable if signed by him. I would hang on to it for a while, and then sell it. Cha Ching! So I sent it to him for his signature and he liked it so much he decided to keep it. Well, whoís going to tell Colin Powell he canít have it? Not me! He did send me a nice check so weíre square.

In my real life Iíve done hundreds of illustrations and book covers as the Senior Illustrator and Art Director for Air University Press.  Now retired from Federal service, I enjoy the freedom that allows me time to create every day in our Dog House Studio.  A few years back I was invited to an art class where I met a very talented and creative artist, Deborah Gibson. She was teaching, but I couldnít tell you what. I couldnít take my eyes off her. Well, September 2004, just two days after hurricane Ivan, we were married on the beach in Panama City Beach, Florida. How lucky can one man be?



Alabama Artist Steve Garst ISAP, WSA, GWS