Al was born in New York City, and graduated from Pratt Institute with a major in advertising. After graduation, he served in the Army as a 1st Lieutenant, Airborne and Ranger qualified. Post-military, he worked for twenty-plus years as an art director, TV producer, and creative director at a number of Manhattan ad agencies. He also taught advertising at The School of Visual Arts.

In the mid-nineties, Al began to paint; he studied with Burton Silverman 1998-2000.  He paints in watercolor, oil, and pastels.  Since he began showing his work in 2001, he has been in over 225 national and international exhibitions, with his paintings winning awards in over half those events. His work has been honored with 15 Best In Show awards. Continued acceptance has earned him the status of Elected Member or Signature Member in more than 30 distinguished societies.

Al and his wife Jean write as A.J. Zerries - the name recognizes their collaboration. Visit to find out more about their first novel, The Lost Van Gogh, published by Forge.

The Zerries, who live on Long Island, have two adult sons, Zachary and Z. Morgan.