How did you get started as an artist?
I drew a lot as a child but never expected to be an artist. As an undergraduate, I majored in English and always expected to be a writer.. (I'm not, but have a daughter who is...)
My mother-in-law taught me to tole paint when my children were small. I took a watercolor class in an Art Ministry when they were in junior high, and I was hooked! Won a ribbon in my first show from the Greater Kansas City Art Association; that motivated me. I painted in watercolor for 17 years.
I suppose I really got started when my older daughter (also an artist) and I moved to Wilmington and had a gallery there for six years. My watercolors started to sell. I took a course in the French Impressionists at UNCW and after a visit to see the Monet- Renoir exhibit in Richmond, I switched to oils. It was not too long before I had several galleries showing my work and I won many other awards.
Who or what has influenced you the most?
I think that Rick McClure, a teacher from Oklahoma, influenced me most. I took at least five workshops from Rick when we were showing at the same gallery in Wilmington. I really love his work. The other professionals I most admire are Richard Schmid and Mark Boedges. I could not overlook Wyeth and Sargent.
Describe for us a breakthrough moment in your work:
I had a breakthrough when I began to experiment with watermedia, particularly inks. I had great success with abstract waves done on very smooth paper. But I found it very difficult to mat and frame under glass when I had to travel some distances with the paintings in the back of my car. My galleries are spread over a large area. And there is no question but that oils command a higher price.
As an artist, what is it that you love about what you do?
Painting is an absolute passion for me. I love everything about it, particularly the color. I get totally absorbed in my work and have no idea how time passes. I love to watch people connect with the work and am privileged to see that happen when i am working in my daughter's gallery on the Outer Banks. Art is a spiritual journey for me so those connections are spiritual as well. I find most of my inspiration around the ocean, which is why I moved to this area. I love to paint anything in nature and particularly love painting flowers.
If you weren’t a painter, what would you be?
If I were not an artist, I might have been a counselor or a manager in a Continuing Education division. I have a graduate degree in that field. To some people, it seemed like a real sacrifice when I left that field. But art makes me extremely happy, and you can't beat that as a reason to keep doing what you're doing. It is a constant challenge to improve and do something new....who knows, maybe something great!