And his constant desire for improvement has paid off. He’s racked up a lengthy list of awards, including First Place at the Crosby Gardens Festival of the Arts, Best of Show at the Toledo Artist Club Art Auction, and many, many more. He’s also a member of several professional societies, including Associate member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, the Northwestern Ohio Watercolor Society, where he formerly served as president, and the Toledo Artists Club.
“I like to paint it mentally from start to finish,” he said. “When I actually start the painting, I work very quickly because now it's all in my mind. All I have to do is do it and hope for the best. I just remember that I’ll be making many adjustments along the way.”
Born in Alliance, Ohio, Bivins used to doodle characters he saw in cartoons as a child.
“My inspiration was one of my older sisters who always drew cartoons,” he said. “Being the competitive person that I am, I started doing the same. And after a while, I got better than she was.”
Bivins said his desire to keep improving first appeared when, as a teen, he entered a magazine’s drawing contest.
“You had to select either the pirate or the bulldog,” he said. “I drew the bulldog and sent it in. I knew I was a winner. However, when I got the response back, they indicated that I didn't have an aptitude for art. So that gave me the passion to work harder.”
After graduating high school, he studied Art Education at the University of Toledo and stayed in the Toledo area, where he spent his career teaching art and creating his own. Right now, he’s focused on creating work for the upcoming art show season, including land and waterscapes ranging from 6x8 inches up to 12x12 inches. He also donates several paintings a year to charity auctions for various causes.