Looking back at the events of September 11th, 2001, and what lead up to my painting "Don't Tread on Me," I remember turning on the television that fateful day and seeing the first tower burning, then watching the plane hit the second one and realizing that this was an attack on the USA. Throughout the day, as events unfolded, I tried to think of things I could do to help. One of the announcers said she hoped that the American people would not just sweep this under the rug. Another one added the hope that future generations would not forget this event. I felt that as an artist, I could try to capture the feelings of the event that would still evoke those feelings in years to come.
I remember the events that preceded 9/11 that contributed to the theme of the painting. A few weeks before that day, I had been walking our dog through a local park. On one of the trees was a bald eagle with his feathers ruffled as if he was angry. The image returned to me when I was composing the picture. The rest of the composition; the fireman with "USA" on his hat, Old Glory hanging from the ruined TV tower, and the torch that we all must carry with the towers in the sky were all elements that evoked strong emotion in me as I painted this tribute. No other painting I have ever created has so completely dominated my time for 24 hours a day. It seems like my brush just flew over the canvas and I have yet to figure out how I did it in such a short time.
My hope is that this painting in particular will keep the memory of that day alive and remind us of our place in history.