The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration. ~Claude Monet
I live in Norton Shores, Michigan, a small Lake Michigan community, with my husband, Dale, and two dogs. I have two grown children; a son, Gabe who lives in Blue Ridge, GA with his wife Tonya and a daughter, Andi who lives just blocks away . My family is definitely my biggest fan. Four years ago my husband, Dale, and I became the dreaded snowbirds traveling south to Sanibel Island, Florida for the winter months. I say dreaded because I never thought I would be that old. On the bright side I get to paint gardens, sand dunes, sailboats, and old barns in Michigan and egrets, herons, and the Gulf of Mexico while on Sanibel; definitely the best of both worlds.
If you believe in fate, then I was born to be an artist. My mother was an accomplished artist working in watercolors, oils, sculpture, etchings and printmaking. I’ve always felt myself more of a crafter creating works with papers, fibers, vintage bottles, old jewelry and of course glitter, lots and lots of glass glitter.
I’ve been a photographer for over 35 years both as a portrait photographer and altered art pieces. Having an eye to capture the perfect shot, the right moment, the light, has definitely helped me as an artist. After much encouragement from my best friend I signed up to take a workshop in oils with her in Petoskey, Michigan through the Crooked Tree Art Center with renowned Plein Air artist Shelby Keefe. I knew I had to get out the oils and practice before attending. I sorted through all of my Mother’s old oil paints, brushes, mediums and dusted off her easel. After several attempts I was hooked, as they say, hook, line and sinker. I couldn’t get enough. I donated most of my craft supplies to my local elementary art teacher to make room for my new leisure pursuit. As I sit back and think about what lead me to this journey I know I was influenced by my Mom. She signed my sister and me up for oil painting lessons from Barbara St. Dennis, a very well-known local artist. The classes were held after school in the basement of our Catholic School Convent. I still remember the smell of that room with all the linseed oil and paints. I no longer have that first piece of art but I remember it was a still life of a bowl of fresh fruit, (back in the early sixties it very well could have been plastic fruit). I took a lot of art classes in high school and our local community college.I was very influenced in my art by my High School teacher, Lou Payment. He was such an inspiration helping not just me but all of his students achieve as much as we could. Because of his inspiration, I once won an award in the Grand Rapids Michigan Regional Art Show. That award was presented by then Congressman Gerald R. Ford. How cool is that! I doubt I’ll ever forget that day. Later in my twenties I took a watercolor class with my Mom, you might say I made her week. She wanted one of us to paint with her so bad. I regret not keeping up with it with her. I am continuing my journey by taking classes from impressionist painters Nancy Medina of Flower Mound, Texas and Dreama Tolle Perry of Paris, Kentucky. These classes have opened up a world of possibilities I never knew I had before. I love both painting in my studio as well as Plein Air painting. I believe an artist is developing his or her “style” forever. Each class, each article read, each visit to a Museum will bring about different techniques in color, strokes, and perspective. I continue on my search for my style but love each stop along the way. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey with me.