Forrest was born in Bryson City, North Carolina in 1951. The family soon found their way to Northern Virginia just outside Washington D.C. where Forrest’s parents were able to find the work to support their family. This is also where Forrest went after graduating from college in North Carolina to begin a career in graphic design and illustration. Working as an art director and illustrator in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and lastly in Georgia, Forrest has come back home to North Carolina, building his painter’s studio, GreeneLeaf.
Ground was broken for GreeneLeaf Studio in June of 2012. This is a intimate space, with a gallery space on the first floor and the studio on the second. Each room has 10 foot ceilings making the second floor painting space feel, quite literally, as if you are working within the trees. The studio sits on a western slope at one end of the Reems Creek Valley in a small area named Sugar Cove. It is here at GreeneLeaf that Forrest turns his full attention to painting. “This is where I have always wanted to be” says Forrest, about his life with Joanne and their two dogs Gracie and Penny.
It is through painting, Forrest hopes to continue his exploration of figurative art. “I am most pulled into what I’m painting when the subject is looking back at me” says Forrest. While the human form is at the center of his work he is always excited to explore outside those disciplines into other areas when curiosity and the challenge of the subject requires it.