My Story

This is my personal story and may give you some perspective on how I see the world

David Gray

All of the other pages contain this statement “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but often times better than a master of one.” I like to experiment in many creative forms, professionally as a software engineer and for fun I have experimented with Photography, Pottery, Writing (prose and poetry). My current big experiment is Printmaking.

My favorite period of art is Impressionism, but I most most admire the artists of the Renaissance. I love nature, being outside, and exploring, looking out at grand vistas, skiing down a winding trail, biking through the woods, kayaking across a secluded lake or just looking down in wonder at the grass as tiny inscects live out their lives in obscurity. There is amazement everywhere you look.

Looking back, I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life. Who really does? My "modern life" offers many possibilities. With educated parents, college was expected. I always did better in math and science, but the thought of a desk job for the rest of my life was terrifying. My high school yearbook says I wanted to be mining engineer. I think, at the time, it was the only thing I could think of the was techical and outside.

I ended up attending WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) where I started off in Civil Engineering, then migrated towards Environmental Sciences, but finally settled on Mechanical Engineering in Design. WPI was a fantastic school for me, offering the chance of personal discovery. My fraternity, Theta Chi, had a dark room, I learned photography. Our fraternity house was one block away from the Worcester Art Museum, where I took classes in photography. I chronicled my college life while I was there. Upon graduation, the fear of the desk job had not waned, I took a field engineering job with Schlumberger in Texas working in oil exploration. This was an interesting job, I was in Texas for 2 years, until the recession in the 1980's literally dried up the oil industry. I returned home to NH, where experience in oil exploration was useless. Having worked in Texas and growing up in New Hampshire, I decided I wanted to stay in NH or New England. All of the jobs at the time were in computer programming. Learning software engineering seemed the best to stay in New England. Unfortunately, it seemed the desk job was unavoidable. I studied computer science in the Master's program at University of New Hampshire. I received a teaching assistantship, which paid for my school and that lead to the discovery that I enjoyed teaching.

While at UNH I saw an advertisement for ski instructors at the Gunstock ski area. I thought I was a pretty good skier, having raced in high school. I attended their hiring clinic. They didn't think I was a good skier, too many had habits, but they thought I was a good teacher. They said it was easier to teach better skiing than to teach someone how to teach. Over the years I did learn to be a better skier, and taught skiing for 30 years.

After finishing at UNH I joined Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Digital was a fantastic company to work at, it turned out that I enjoyed programming, it's just story telling, within the boundaries of tightly controlled syntax. I continued to teach computer science as an adjunct professor at the Manchester NH campus of UNH, and I continued to teach skiing at Gunstock in the winter. Sailed in the summer time, hiked the White Mountains. Even though I was working at a desk, I had found a nice balance and I was doing everything I enjoyed.

In 2011 I started taking classes in printmaking at the New Hampshire Institure of Art and Sciences and in 2015 I created my own little studio, that I named after my grandfather: D.M. Penny Press. Over the last 6 years I having slowly added more equipment and continue to experiment and explore new ways of printmaking.

In 2016 I started a Poetry Meetup group in Manchester NH, meeting once a month in my studio. The focus of the group was a place where the untrained poet could come an read in a 100% accepting environment. We would discuss the poem, what it meant, why is was written. Up until Covid, these meeting were always fun. The group still exists, but participation has stopped. Hopefully some day it will resume. In 2017 I attended a 3 day poetry conference at the Frost Farm in Derry NH, and had a lot of fun, I attended in 2018 and 2019, then Covid arrived, I am hoping to return in 2022. That's about it, so far ...

David Gray