Danny Hahlbohm (pronounced hal-bome) was born in Mineola, New York, in June of 1949. Hahlbohm, who has been drawing since the age of 8, grew up on the eastern end of Long Island. In 1968, he enlisted in the Air Force and was sent overseas.
One night, suffering from severe, debilitating migraines, he could stand the pain no longer. He ran out into the fog and fell to his knees, asking God's help. The sky opened up in the form of a tunnel in which he could clearly see the stars through the fog that still surrounded him. His migraines instantly subsided and have never returned. This led Hahlbohm to devote his life to Christ, and following his military service, the self-taught artist began to paint professionally for galleries and auctions houses across the nation. Two years later, he began to tour the country, exhibiting his work from coast to coast. Hahlbohm's style and technique garnered extensive recognition in the 30 years that followed. In addition to exhibitions in some of the nation's most prestigious galleries, his award-winning work has graced billboards, magazine and CD covers, limited edition plates and puzzles. More than one hundred prints have been reproduced from his original paintings and distributed in countries all over the world. Hahlbohm has also helped aspiring artists, teaching art classes and making instructional videos.
Hahlbohm has learned two important life lessons along the way. The first is to have faith and to trust in God, even when the road seems uncertain. In addition, no matter how difficult the challenges or how great the obstacles facing us, he believes that God has already equipped each of us to do whatever is asked of us.
After ten years of nonstop touring, Hahlbohm questioned whether he should give up the art show circuit and instead paint at home in order to do God's work. He got his answer while painting in the middle of a major mall one weekend. He looked around and realized that his work was boldly proclaiming God's message and glorifying His Son. It would be seen by thousands of people over the course of a weekend in a public venue. Hahlbohm's art shows enabled him to reach many in a manner and in places where his message was not only permitted but also welcomed. People have often approached the artist to tell him how deeply his work has touched their lives, and Hahlbohm believes this is because we all have the same Master.
He says, "It has become clear through the years how my artistic gifts were meant to be used by the Lord for the comfort and growth of those they touch. The talent given me is truly a gift," he reflects. "I never struggled to achieve mastery of oils, and when I needed the ability, God granted it. If He asks something of us, we have already been prepared to accomplish the task because all things come from Him. I realized that my gift of talent was truly the Lord's hand upon my own. I am simply a tool of the Lord."
Jay Bryant Ward
Artist Tom Cross blends techniques both old and new to create a light-hearted yet thought-provoking glimpse into the aspects of nature that are so often overlooked—its lore, its myth and its legends. His art is a journey on which one can, Cross says, "rediscover the magic of nature trapped just within our reach." Cross describes his artwork as nature folklore rather than fantasy or science fiction as he believes his work is more than just an illustration of a fantastic scene. With its roots in ecology and folklore, Cross says his work is wildlife or nature art that has gone "just a bit awry."Cross' artwork is in a realm where science and art meet and mix. He combines ecological fact and fable with whimsical images and fuses traditional and nonconventional techniques to convey the visions, dreams and realities of a world that is environmentally right with itself. With a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Florida, Cross is uniquely qualified to employ his unusual and effective combination of creative and scientific expertise to accurately interpret and artistically communicate complex concepts in an easy to understand and visually entertaining fashion. A nationally recognized specialist in the study of coastal barrier island ecology, Cross has been honored with awards for his environmental activities as well as his art. He has been associated with ecological projects and environmental programs on local, state and federal levels as a contributing author and artist for such organizations as the Cousteau Society, the National Estuary Program, the Nature Conservancy, the American Littoral Society and the Sierra Club. He has made documentaries on barrier island management and other films, videos, commercials and animations for environmentally oriented organizations and projects. Cross has also served on the faculty of Ringling School of Art and Design, teaching a variety of subjects from publication design to digital painting and drawing.
In his artwork, Cross interweaves the magic of the different elements that, he says, "are the foundation of this floating sphere of life we call earth. Our planet is unique. It's a closed system and a fragile one. It must be tended with care, respected and kept whole for the generations who follow."