Rick grew up in the Mississippi Delta where the summers are hot and long, the cotton grows waist high, the land is flat like a pancake, where the blues was born, and where southern hospitality is a virtue. Some people think that there is "magic" in the south. Whether this is true or not, it is where Rick began his love of art which continues today. After high school, he attained his master's degree in Art Education from Delta State University, and began his teaching career in 1975 in Mississippi. After teaching for 25 years, Rick retired from the classroom to continue working as a professional artist. Throughout his professional art career, Rick has exhibited throughout the United States, and has won over 150 awards in local, regional, and national exhibitions. His work is in both private and corporate collections.In 2003 Rick illustrated his first children's book, M is for Magnolia: A Mississippi Alphabet. He has gone on to publish three other titles with Sleeping Bear Press, with a fifth title in the works. Rick is also a professional speaker and literacy advocate, and he spends a lot of time presenting at schools, libraries, literacy conventions and festivals, sharing his experiences as an artist and illustrator of children's books; as well as assisting school systems developing and updating their art curriculum. He is also member of the International Reading Association. Rick lives in Clinton, Mississippi, with his wife Merrie, who is the librarian at Clinton Junior High. They have one son, Denman, a professional actor, currently residing in Washington, DC.