As a child, it was my dream to become an artist. I wanted to become successful, not so much in making money (although its important to live and to pay bills) but to bring out the beauty of each piece of artwork that I did. I wanted to make people happy.
At age 14, I studied under Joseph Collozie of New York. I worked for wholesalers, from Macy’s & Gimbel’s department stores. I had to compete with assembly-line paintings imported from Europe, and bought by Arnos and Lansburger. These were the largest importers in the world.
This training has made me “The Fastest Artist in the World.” I appeared on the Johnny Andrews on N.B.C. and with Pat Kirby, the singer. I painted Paris street scenes in 10 minutes. That was in the 50’s.
Since I don’t have to waste a lot of time to produce a painting, I can be reasonable in price, which is an advantage to the customers. Dixie crossroads restaurant founder and former owner Rodney Thompson was a launch site for me here in Florida. I painted Florida wildlife scenes for Laura Lee Thompson (current owner of Dixie CrossRoads Restaurant) which inspired me to know all the details for so many different birds.
I also enjoy sculpting which seems to be a family gift, since my father also love to sculpt. No one can duplicate the creators work, so we strive to do our very best to beautify the earth and our surroundings with the many talents that he has given us. I am now 82 years old and my dream did come true. I am still painting and enjoying it.
I believe that our Creator gave everyone a different gift. So in life, if we are able to survive and do what we love in life
That is a great blessing. – Al Rao