"Art is essentially successful storytelling," says Andrew Lattimore, "and to bring the story to life, I paint the essence of what I see and what I feel within." A multidimensional artist with a distinctive vision, Lattimore's portraits, figures, landscapes and still lifes go beyond simple storytelling. They instantly transport the viewer into their character's worlds and lives.

A classically trained and diverse artist, Lattimore credits his parents with instilling his passion for painting. "They would regularly bring me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York," he recalls, "and the stimulating conversation about what we saw accelerated my learning." His mother arranged for Lattimore to receive private art lessons at the age of 12, going so far as to have him spend a summer working in an architectural firm to fine tune his understanding of perspective. At the age of 17, he went to the National Academy of Fine Arts in New York, completing his studies in three years.

Seeking training in a traditional European Atelier, Lattimore went directly to Florence, Italy. Every day for three months, he knocked on the door of his selected teacher, Nerina Simi. "Until she finally opened the door and accepted me as a student, I spent my days at the Accadamia, studying and drawing the figure of Michelangelo's David and his unfinished captives," says Lattimore. The experience taught the young painter a lesson he shares with his students today: you have to earn it, be ready to receive it, and want it bad enough; and it's that desire which toughens you up and challenges you to never become complacent in your work. Lattimore spent two intensive years under Simi's tutelage, focusing on the study of plaster casts and drawing from models before moving on to study landscape painting in England.

Upon his return to the United States, Lattimore quickly attracted the attention of galleries and collectors. Today, his paintings are in collections throughout the U.S., Italy, France, Great Britain, and Hong Kong. For the past 24 years, he has been represented by Portraits, Inc., the country's pre-eminent portrait house, and has been commissioned to paint portraits of business leaders, dignitaries and members of some of the country's most distinguished families. Most recently, New York State Governor George Pataki had selected Lattimore to paint his official portrait that will hang in the state capital.

Returning to his European training, the artist considers the human form his greatest artistic challenge, "In drawing and painting the body, I consistently turn inward, challenging myself to go one step further."

In doing so, Lattimore tells a story that will keep you spellbound.