I was born in Seattle in 1953 to Robert and Dorothy Wikstrom. My homelife would be fairly normal for any young white catholic boy in the mid fifties.
My first journey from home came in 1964 when I spent the summer with relatives in Ketchikan, Alaska. We searched for indian artifacts at low tide and discovered stone lamps and axe heads. I became infatuated by Northwest Coast Indian art and culture.
By the time I entered Queen Anne High School I was an apprentice in my father's commercial art business. During my junior and senior years at Queen Anne High School I produced the artwork for the school yearbooks.

I was active in the antiwar movement and participated in underground cultural events of many kinds. The first large music festival I attended was a rousing affair known as the Seattle Pop Festival in 1969.

Later the next summer, I took a journey to Los Angeles by freight train and hitch hiking with a friend. We explored the Sunset Strip and hung out at the Whiskey a Go Go.

I began to move away from home. First by retreating to a wooded area near my home that provided solitude and a chance to discover myself. My friends and I had rehabilitated and then occupied derelict buildings near the shoreline and eventually rented some of the legitimate houses.
After high school, I enrolled in commercial art courses at Seattle College. Two years later my studies were complete and I was hired as a sign painter for a local drug store chain. I also worked in my father's art business and felt I was on my way to becoming a success. During summer and spring breaks from my junior year in high school on, I would take progressively longer trips away from home.

I once took a trip to a friend's property off the Redwood Highway in Southern Oregon and ended up in jail in Josephine County, Oregon.

Other freight train travels followed, the longest being a trip with a friend to Chicago and then a short hitch hike to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take part in the annual blues and jazz festival held there.

I decided I would strike out on a wild adventure in Dutch Harbor and Kodiak, Alaska in 1974 at the age of 20. I had a grand adventure and fell in love for the first time.

Following this journey I embarked on the deciding event of my life. After living in New Orleans for several months I sustained an injury to my spinal cord while swimming and became paralyzed from the shoulders down.
After rehabilitation, I again took up my paintbrush and redeveloped my art. I designed an art program at Seattle's Children's Hospital and gradually my life came back together in a new and very positive way.
I became a Student Member of The International Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists and graduated to Full Member in 1992. My wife and I have been together for 30 years and have 5 terrific grandchildren. We have traveled the world together and invite you to read of our adventures here.

Thank you for your time and interest. Please feel free to contact me.

This site was established in 1994 through a grant from the Seattle Art Museum's OPEN STUDIO program.

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