Welcome! Thank you for your interest in my work. You will find that my website provides a central location to share information about myself, my art, and workshops and art shows that I may be participating in. Please take a look around, my Gallery is filled with art from my personal collection, private collections, as well as commissioned work.
I have a couple of workshops coming up in the near future so please be sure to check the Contact page for information.
For as long as I can remember, art has constituted a major part of my life. I have been inspired by images found in the real world, books and the ubiquitous Life and National Geographic magazines. As a child, it was the stories of the images that attracted me and then the images became more important as I immersed myself into a special reality...my reality of art. I would look at the illustrations and photos of the people and different lands and imagine their stories. I put the images I saw down on paper and could escape to drawing my special reality at anytime, which gave me great comfort in a sometimes difficult home life. I remember being amazed at Picasso’s photo-realistic drawings of pigeons and his progression into cubism. It made sense in my own mind that I must learn the fundamentals first, a self inflicted discipline, before I pursue my ultimate expression.
As a young woman and a single parent, I chose the more “responsible” and secure job of engineering to support myself and my child, being convinced that art wouldn’t pay the bills. But I found the technical drawing to be the most enjoyable aspect of my work. My subsequent marriage allowed me to shift priorities to the world I truly loved, visual art. My husband’s military career afforded us the opportunity to travel and see first-hand those National Geographic faces and places. It also allowed me the time to create and obtain my degree in art.
In a comment by an artist which, to paraphrase, read that you must first master the pencil before you pick up a brush, I once again felt that the first step on my artistic journey was in studying the fundamentals of drawing. As a result, I totally disconnect from the overall subject matter and concentrate on seeing the line and abstract shapes of space, and value. It’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle which always, to my amazement, gives me a realistic rendering of my subject. This is the best foundation possible for successful painting and allows me full access to the reality I want to create.
My present love of watercolor has given me many additional challenges. I was drawn to this medium with its reputation of difficulty and was determined to master it. The techniques necessary were only the first challenge. It led me to exploration into materials, color, and style. I have experimented with different papers, brushes and equipment. Research into pigments has led me to limit my palette to a simple triad of transparent colors. Using these three colors helped me focus on learning how color works, the best way to use it and how far I can take it. I have work in realism, impressionism and abstraction. I would love to say that I have mastered watercolor, but everyday I find myself investigating new techniques and styles; making it clear with every new challenge, mastery will remain a never ending pursuit.
The intent of my work is to capture a moment and tell a story. My fascination with people has given me countless ideas for art. I connect with the person, place or thing I am painting so as to express my emotional response to the subject. I feel that painting strictly by fundamentals alone is fine for creating something visually recognizable; however, my goal is to capture every aspect of my subject, seen and unseen. The ideal is to have the viewer sense the same connection. In my commissioned portraits, which I like to call “lifestyle” portraits, I want to tell something about the person; what they wear, do and love; something an “Olan Mills” photograph cannot do.
One of my greatest pleasures is being able to give back what I have been given. My teaching philosophy is to share all that I have learned. My experience in teaching has highlighted the fact that many students do not know the fundamentals. I teach only what I use as a working artist, so I stress these basics. The most successful thing I teach, I believe, is how to see. I direct my students to see what is in front of them, the abstract elements, not what they think they see. My hope is that I teach as I would like to be taught, sharing the complete artistic journey.
It has been a life’s work devoted to the study and analysis of the whole artistic process, including composition, design, color theory and techniques. I will always be learning new things about what I do, because I not only need to know how, but why.
My journey as an artist has taken me to some wonderful places and has granted me many rewards. Throughout this journey I have been challenged and will continue to challenge myself, share what I know, and progress to the next step.