1949 - On
October 13, 1949, I was born in Los Angeles,
California. We lived in Westchester, a
neighborhood in western Los Angeles, close to the
L.A. Airport. There was a pig farm near by and my
mom told me she and dad went over to the farm to
pick me out of the litter. I was probably asking
her where babies came from and in the 1950's the
stork story was beginning to wear thin. I knew
she was joking, because when my brother Mark and
I would get real dirty playing outside, she'd
tell us that she was going to send the two of us
back to the pig farm. Knowing that Mark was born
in Oklahoma blew that story wide open, but I
still spent a lot of time in front of the
bathroom mirror wondering if I would have a pig
nose when I matured.
We moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma where my dad
(Carl) had been hired to work at Oklahoma A&M
(Oklahoma State University) in the graphic arts
department. Dad had attended Chouinard Art
Institute in Los Angeles, focusing on the graphic
Mom (Mary) with hairdo
#17. Our mom would spend her entire lifetime
searching for the right hair color and hair
style. As soon as I was old enough to walk to the
Alpha Beta grocery store by myself, she would
send me with a couple of bucks to get her a
bottle of hair dye. She would describe the color
shade that she wanted and I would go to the
store, stand in the aisle and stare at all the
bottles. Afternoon Sunshine, Silver Mist, Summer
Blonde... I was beginning to hone my artistic
sense of color theory.
My older sister Maureen (b. 1947) and I kept my
mom busy at home. Mom and dad always bought our
clothes a few sizes too large so that they would
last for many years. I think I'm still wearing
that Christmas robe...
I was a happy kid.
Strutting my happiness.
Maureen, Mark and
1951 - My brother Mark
was born, becoming the only sibling not born in
California. He and I would embark on some amazing
adventures in the years to come.
Firing up the family
1952 - This house on
Scott Ave. is the last of three houses we lived
in while in Stillwater. During the summer, I
would wake up before sunrise and go out in our
front yard to listen to the loud clicking sounds
of the cicadas in our tree.
Ice cream party in anticipation of
leaving Oklahoma. The term my mom would use was
"Let's blow this joint!"
1952 - We packed our
bags and headed back to California.
- While mom and
dad were looking for a permanent home for us, we
moved into our grandparents' house (mom's) on
Ellendale in Los Angeles. Our cousins, Winnie and
Judy were also living there.
1952 - This is the back
yard at grandma's. Mom, my aunt Joan and two of
their brothers and a cousin are in this photo.
Besides Butch, the bulldog (family pet), the
family monkey is in the cage (the parrot is in
the house). I don't know if it was because of all
the fun crazy stuff going on around this house,
but my imagination was being fueled on an hourly
basis. One night, looking out our bedroom window,
my bother Mark and I saw a witch on her broom
flying across the moon... and it wasn't even
- Mom and dad buy
our first (and last for us kids) single family
home on Hoback street in Bellflower, California.
1954 - I would walk one
block to C.C. Carpenter school for kindergarten
and first grade. While digging in the sandbox in
kindergarten, I struck the wooden bottom in the
sand and thought it was the door to hell (I was
raised Catholic). Knowing that the devil was just
on the other side of that wood, I covered it back
up and never went back into 'the box'. The first
graders would press their faces up against the
chain link fence that separated us from them and
they would chant "kindergarten babies, born
in the gravy." I was already dealing with
the pig farm theory, so this gravy thing was a
little disturbing. Little did I know, that in one
year's time, I'd have my shiny first grade face
pressed up against that same chain link fence,
and chanting that same thing to those
kindergarten babies... oh yes, and also
"don't go in the sandbox."
Gette - Each
day as I walked to kindergarten, I crossed over
Foster Road and into the city of Downey. Little
did I know, just a mile and half away, there was
a 1 year old blonde Downey girl just waiting to
be my wife.
The beginning of my art career (6 years old) and
my first inclination to surrealism. This is my
crayon on paper study of "Policeman On
Horse, Arresting Six Foot Tall Intoxicated
- My brother Brian
joined the family in 1955 and can be seen here
sitting in dad's lap on a family picnic. Dad
loved setting his camera on timer and we'd all
crack up as he raced to get into the photo.
- Christmas and a
photo with Santa was always a big deal. By now we
all knew that dad was Santa, but we'd get the
picture taken anyway... A couple of years earlier
we hopped into the car and went to a nursery to
buy our Christmas tree. Santa was supposed to be
there. Mark and I caught Saint Nick with his
beard pulled under his neck, having a cigarette
behind the potting shed. Bad Santa told the two
of us to "get the F#%k out of here!"
and dad became Santa after that.
This drawing, which
shows a little boy pointing at Santa and calling
him "Daddy", followed the bad Santa
incident. I was beginning to use my art to
document historical passages in my life.
- Third grade
produced two memorable milestones in my
First, I joined
the Cub Scouts which I thought was very cool.
Hats, neckerchiefs and artsy craft projects at
the afterschool meetings... and usually a great
snack. That was the best.
Second, I was
caught cheating on a multiplication table math
test. My third grade teacher, Sister Lucy, used
her hardwood pointer on my knuckles in front of
the class to teach me not to cheat. I don't know
if it was the fear of the pointer that set me
straight or the embarrassment, but I relied on my
own math skills after that.
1958 - Here's Brian
about 3 years old. Maureen, Mark and I were going
to St. Dominic Savio, a Catholic elementary
school about a mile from our house. We peddled
our bikes to school, learned the latest torturing
techniques from the nuns, peddled back home and
then tortured Brian. It's a wonder that he
survived his childhood.
1958 was also the
first baseball season in Los Angeles for the
Dodgers. Dad took me to my first major league
game that year and I still remember how excited I
was at school that day. I had a stack of Dodger
baseball cards in my pocket all day so that I
knew all the players' names by game time.
1959 - Dad worked all
week and for a period of time he would paint
watercolors on location on the weekend. This farm
scene was painted in Cerritos (called Dairy
Valley at the time). When dad returned home that
day, his shoes were covered in cow stuff and we
thought that was very cool.
Mom would have dad take
Mark and me with him when he painted along the
coast. I remember this day when we were with him
in San Pedro. Mark and I were skipping rocks just
in front of these tugboats and dad told us to
stop so that he could study the reflections in
the water. That was a great day.
Dad gave away most
of his paintings as gifts to friends. I asked him
why he didn't sell them and he told me that art
was hard to sell and that was why he became a
graphic designer. He saved a few watercolors,
hung them around the house and forty some years
later gave Carol and me these two paintings
1960 - Baseball ruled
our neighborhood streets all year long. There
wasn't a car on the block that didn't have a dent
in it from a hardball.
1960 - Jill was born,
completing our family of seven.
-In seventh grade,
I made the local paper with this drawing. I'm
raising my hand in the drawing as Sister Mary
Helen calls on me. If you look closely, you can
see my bruised knuckles from 1958.
- For my 13th
birthday (8th grade) I chipped in my savings
towards my present (we had a $10 birthday
allowance), so that I could get a Jerry Mahoney
dummy. I had always been facinated by
ventriloquists and decided this would be my
life's work. For the next two years I would do my
act around the local area, winning talent
contests with my sidekick, 'Dino'. On my first
paid gig in 1964, the man who drove me home after
my act tossed a quarter at me as payment for the
night and drove off. I was crushed. I threw the
quarter into the night and the next morning took
poor ol' Dino onto our tetherball court in the
backyard and lit him on fire. Dino would be
resurrected in 1969, when I rebuilt him with
surfboard resin and fiberglass, making him into
an aging professor. He (and I) was a hit at all
our beer parties.
Pitching for St.
Dominic Savio's 8th grade team in 1963.
Thinking that I
was going to be a pitcher for the Los Angeles
Dodgers, I needed a job that would keep my
throwing arm in shape. I had been helping an
older neighborhood boy with his newspaper route
since I was 12, filling in for him whenever he
needed someone. At age 13 he handed over his
route of 100 customers to me and I began chucking
papers into screen doors all over my
neighborhood. It obviously didn't build my
pitching arm into a professional career, but the
$50 a month built up my bank account and set me
up to purchase a motorcycle when I was 15 1/2.
1965 - Here's the seven
of us. I attended St. John Bosco High School in
Bellflower for 9th and 10th grades and
transferred to Downey High School beginning my
Junior year. St. John Bosco didn't have any art
classes. I went to my first art class as a junior
and was so intimidated that I transferred into a
1965 - The five of us
gathering around my first motor vehicle, a Honda
After 3 years of
delivering the Herald Examiner, I moved from the
newspaper business into the food industry. On my
16th birthday, I was hired as a box boy at Alpha
Beta. Now I could bring mom's hair dye home on a
1966 - Surfing just
north of Ensenada, Mexico. Mark and I would surf
throughout high school, mostly at lifeguard
station #23, Bolsa Chica State Beach.
1967 - Graduation,
- Music, art and
the Vietnam War all dominated the news when I
entered college in 1967. I continued playing
music while trying to take my first art class at
California State University Long Beach. Unable to
petition into an art class, I took whatever I
could get to keep my college deferment. With
classes that didn't seem as important as the rock
band playing out on the hillside of the campus, I
was put on scholastic probation after my freshman
year. My transfer to Cerritos Junior College
allowed me to start studying art for the first
1969 - Carol and I met
in 1968. I was playing bass guitar and singing
vocals in The Plastic Diversion, a popular band
in our area. I saw her white hair and lips
glowing in the black lights at Zax's Coffee House
while I was singing a Bob Dylan song. I played in
three more bands prior to becoming the lead
singer in a Lakewood band called Plumgoo. We
played New Year's Eve, 1969, at the Marina Palace
in Seal Beach, which would be the last time I
would play in a rock n' roll band.
While I was loving
my art classes at Cerritos in my Sophomore year,
my political science class was reduced from a 3
unit class to 2 units. In the Fall of 1969, I
lost my military deferment and was drafted into
1970 - After talking to
some seasoned Vietnam vets, I decided to join the
United States Marine Corps in February. This
photo is of Brian and me in the backyard of our
Hoback street home. While in bootcamp in San
Diego, with about 80% of our training completed,
our company was sitting outside a building after
some aptitude tests. A woman Marine asked the
company of 300 if anyone knew how to draw. About
30 hands went up in the air and we were marched
into an empty classroom. We were each handed one
sheet of ruled loose leaf paper and a 6h pencil
(equivilent to a lead pipe) and was told that we
had one hour to draw. As she slammed the door,
the 30 of us looked at each other and asked
"Draw what?" I noticed that some of the
guys around me were drawing cars and one was
drawing a tree. As we were all on the verge to go
to Vietnam, I wondered why the Marine Corps
needed someone who could draw. Surely they didn't
need car designers or botonists. I proceeded to
draw a Marine Corps poster, with block letters
casting shadows in the sky, Marines charging over
a hill with their M-16's and a tank bringing up
the rear. A few minutes after the papers were
collected and inspected, I was given an MOS
(Military Occupational Specialty) of 1461. This
was a Marine artist and they needed one at Camp
Smith, on Oahu in Hawaii...
1971 - My job for the
next two years was to design and build various
props to be used to decorate the Waikiki Hawaiian
Hilton for the Officers' Marine Corps Ball. In
conjuction with the Ball, I would also be in
charge of anything art related that came down
from headquarters. Seen here is a 3 star
general's birthday cake top that I made out
of styrofoam and plaster. Camp Smith was the
headquarters for the Fleet Marine Force Pacific
and it wasn't unusual for a general to drop in
and ask if I could do some 'art' as a gift for
My dad shipped my
surfboard to me and I surfed the entire island
with another Marine from Huntington Beach.
I bought a 1967 Triumph
Tiger and saw every corner of the island. There
were free helicopter shuttles to the other
islands that no one on my base was taking
advantage of, so I did. The Chinook helicopter
could accommodate my motorcycle, which made
on the west shore during my first month on Oahu,
I met John, a Japanese man who had squated on a
piece of beach since leaving the Japanese Navy
after World War II. He had a military tent, a
wall locker and a cot from 1940's wartime, and he
fed himself by gilnetting fish right in front of
his campground. After helping him with his nets
for a couple of weekends, he invited me to put up
my own tent since I was sleeping on the open sand
in my sleeping bag. I spent a great deal of my
free time there. John was superstitious about
having his picture made, so I left my camera on
base. On my last day with him, he let me take one
...in 1979, I painted
this watercolor, "John, West Shore,
Oahu" from that photograph. That same year,
this 22" x 30" transparent watercolor
was shown at the San Diego Watercolor Society
Exhibition which was juried by Millard Sheets.
1972 - This is Carol's
parents' house on Cornuta Ave. in Downey where
she grew up. When I came home from the Marine
Corps, I spent a few months living with some ol'
buddies of mine and in late 1972 moved into
Carol's living room. Her parents were the best. I
was going to Cerritos College and spending all my
free time grinding on my art projects. Although I
loved the fine arts, I was taking mostly graphic
design classes because my father told me
"You can't make a living as a fine artist."
In her parents' backyard was
Carol's playhouse-turned-storage shed full of
this and that. Her dad let me clean it out and
install an additional window.
I moved in all my art supplies, a
drafting table and ran an extension cord from the
garage. This became my first art studio and it
- For 6 months, I
lived in her parents living room and did my
school work in my new studio.
In my last semester at
Cerritos College, I took my first watercolor
class and painted from magazine photos. This
Greek Orthodox priest is my final project and my
On April 7, 1973, I got off of her
parents' couch, and married Carol at St. Dominic Savio church. We moved into an apartment in
Cypress, California. I transferred back to Cal
State Long Beach, continuing my study in graphic
design. While in my senior year I was told that
there weren't going to be any jobs available when
I graduated. A friend told me about a job opening
in Laguna Beach at Mission Printing Company. I
quit school, took the job and we moved to an
apartment in Costa Mesa for a couple of months
before we purchased our first home in El Toro. In
1974 we moved into our first new house in Mission
Viejo. We immediately turned one of the rooms
into my studio and I began to paint watercolors
in the evening hours after work.
things, my job at Mission Printing involved
designing artists' catalogs for Challis Galleries
in Laguna Beach. Challis represented the best
watercolorists in California, and I was able to
meet and talk to each artist (like Rex Brandt)
when they came in to proof their catalogs. They
all told me to keep painting and to enter my work
into national watercolor competitions. In 1977,
itching for a change and feeling driven to paint,
I left the printing company and took a graphic
design job in Newport Beach. After ten miserable
days with an overbearing boss, I quit and drove
home. It was my 28th birthday and I decided that
I couldn't work for anyone anymore. I told Carol
that I wanted to be a full time painter and that
I would start my own graphic design business to
help pay the bills until I could sell my art.
"Lawnbowler, Laguna Beach"
This was the painting I was completing on the day
that I quit my 10 day job. It was the first
watercolor that I painted from my own
1978 - Brady Scott
Moore was born. Carol had been a dental assistant
since she was 16, working full time through all
my schooling and job jumping. She continued to
work after Brady was born.
This was the first painting I entered into a
competition, which was accepted into the American
Watercolor Society's 1978 exhibition in New York.
That same year, I
was asked to teach a watercolor class at
Saddleback College. Although I had the ability to
put an image on paper, I wasn't quite sure how to
explain how I got there. After a visit to the
college library, I found a book by watercolorist,
John Pike. Mr. Pike's humor, limited palette of
colors and incredible draftsmanship was just what
I needed. My box of 50 pigments was reduced to 8,
and I actually understood what I was doing for
the first time. His book talked of his summer
workshops, so I wrote him and asked if there was
an opening. As it turned out, there were two
openings, so I made the trip to Woodstock, New
York with my dad. Dad had stopped painting 25
years ago and was getting the urge to get back to
painting in watercolor. It was the most
inspirational week of my artist life. That same
summer, I exhibited my work for sale at the
Art-A-Fair Festival in Laguna Beach.
John Pike Watercolor School, 1978
John Pike with his
- "We're Just
My first watercolor, after my week in Woodstock
with John Pike. I entered this painting in the
National Watercolor Society's Annual Exhibition
that year and was elected into the society as a
in Laguna Beach asked to show my watercolors and
I joined the gallery. I really enjoyed selling
the work myself, especially meeting the clients,
so the summer festival felt more comfortable to
me. After a few months with Challis, I left and
we moved to Laguna Beach. I needed more exposure
for my paintings, and the Festival of Arts Fine
Arts Exhibition in Laguna could do just that.
My experience with John Pike prompted me to start
demonstrating the watercolor process wherever I
Outdoor art shows on weekends in Palos Verdes and
Palm Springs gave me the venue to sell my art and
explain the step-by-step process to the public.
Eventually, I started my own watercolor workshops
and taught weekend classes of 30 in a room at
Laguna Beach High School. I would travel to
various art organizations with my overhead mirror
and share my technique.
Morning, Balboa", 22"x30",
"Two Of A Kind, Balboa Pavilion",
22"x30", Transparent Watercolor
1980 marked the
beginning of what my life as an artist would be
for at least the next 32 years. I would paint all
year (September to July) and then display and
sell my paintings at the Festival of Arts during
the months of July and August. The Pageant of the
Masters would draw over 2000 people a night,
filling the exhibit area with prospective
customers. It proved to be the perfect venue for
my work. In 1980, my watercolors were simple
statements about day to day living, and using the
local coastline for my imagery came natural. I
painted in a pale manner, allowing the light to
fill the paper.
1981 - "The Big
In 1981, the Festival of Arts commissioned me to
paint the watercolor, "The Big Catch,"
for the 1982 Pageant of the Masters. This was the
first time I employed models to pose for a
Traveled to New
York to receive the Walser S. Greathouse medal
from the American Watercolor Society. Was
subsequently elected as a signature member later
Watercolor West as a signature member.
1982 - "Sally's,
Began painting interior settings as my interest
in reflective light and dim light images
1983 - "Oyster
Bar, New York"
My first night scene watercolor, painted in April
of 1983 from a photograph I took while in New
York in 1981.
Our biggest event in
1983 was the birth of our daughter, Hayley. She
was born during the summer festival season, so I
took this Polaroid of her 3 days after she was
born and hung it in my booth with the rest of my
In the fall of 1983, the Laguna Art Museum mailed
a cardboard box to 50 regional artists, asking
them to use the box in a work of art. This gave
me the opportunity to reveal the whimsical
imagery that had been in my mind for many years.
"Box Seat" was my first surreal
watercolor and a very popular live auction item.
"The Many Levels Of Tubular Lawnbowling In
The fall of 1984
brought another Laguna Art Museum auction and
another object (a mailing tube) to work with. The
popularity of this image prompted me to begin
thinking of introducing this new imagery into my
day to day painting. I would continue donating a
whimsical watercolor to the annual museum auction
for the next two years.
1985 - "Two Ol'
This was the first 'non auction' surreal image
that I painted. It was purchased by a good friend
and artist, so it was never displayed in public.
Although I was still painting my traditional
watercolors, when this image was completed, I
took it down to my exhibit space at the Festival
of Arts and hung it with my other work. I hung in
on the wall and stuck the price tag on the wall
next to it. As I backed away to see how it looked
hanging next to its traditional counterparts, two
women looked at my asking price and gasped
"He wants $1,500 for that?" As my heart
sunk with their comments, a man standing behind
me whispered over my shoulder, "Did she say
that painting was only $1,500?" He
bought it on the spot. I would continue to
alternate between real and surreal for five more
1985 also marked the
first time I used Brady as a model in one of my
paintings. Here he is on the Balboa Pier looking
through one of the old coin operated telescopes.
- I begin using
Brady and Hayley together in paintings. Here they
are on a private dock on Balboa Island.
"The Fabulous Flying
After posing out in the street in front of our
house, I placed the kids atop a box of popcorn in
this circus related image.
Carol would begin to pose for my surreal
paintings, as she is doing here for...
"Shoeflies Don't Bother
And here for...
I would continue to visit past traditional
paintings of mine, and look at them with a new
As Brady and Hayley grew up, I was able to use
them as teenagers in paintings.
They eventually became adult models. Hayley
coaxed her friend, Tim, to pose in the photo on
Carol's parents, Frieda and 'Frenchie' LaGette
were also brought into the Moore Modeling Agency.
I also got into the act, becoming whatever
character I needed on the spur of the moment.
"Preparing The Catch", 40"x
96", Oil on Linen
This was my first
oil painting. The summer exhibition of art at the
Festival of Arts was instrumental in a couple of
ways. Not only did it give me the opportunity to
show and sell my work, but it actually forced my
hand into another medium. The first year that my
booth space was positioned where the sun hit the
paintings in the morning, the glass covering my
watercolors fogged up and damaged the matting. I
hung shades over the front of the display and had
to raise and lower them every day to protect the
paintings. I loved the display space so I decided
to teach myself to paint in oil so that I
wouldn't have to deal with the sun. On the day
that I was applying my first layer of oil on my
first trial canvas in the corner of my studio, a
corporate client and their design consultant
dropped by my studio. The consultant saw my first
attempt (on a 20"x24" canvas) and asked
me to paint an eight foot long version of the
image (the painting above). It was baptism by
fire and I learned to paint in oil.
1998 - 25th Anniversary
I alternated between oil and watercolor from
1990-2011, using the same palette of colors for
2002 Elected to the
board of the Festival of Arts and served as
president for 2 years.
2004 - 2014 President
of the Festival of Arts Foundation
On April 1, The
Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts, presented me
with the Art Stars Award for Artist of the Year.
2012 - After 31 years, I
decided to stop exhibiting at the Sawdust Festival during the
summer and concentrate on painting
commissions. I continued to display my work at
the Festival of Arts.
With many requests for
commissioned paintings, I've put my spec work on the back burner
and have opened my studio to clients asking me to tell their
stories on canvas.
Alternating between commissioned work
and my personal work.
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