I began drawing at a very early age, both my Mother and Aunt were artistic and they encouraged and inspired me to draw.  I remember wanting to become an artist as early as first grade, school was often difficult for me, and I learned many years later that I have dyslexia.  Drawing for me, was the one thing in school that I excelled at and that brought me such joy. 

Growing up for me was often difficult.  My mother passed away when I was just 11 years old, and I had two younger brothers and a father that was as an alcoholic.  My responsibilities at home were overwheling, in addition I was very shy so I began to withdraw from everyone.  The only comfort came from my horses and my art, they became my world.

The years following my mother's death I was held back in school, I had missed so much and was unable to keep up.  My teacher felt so sorry for me , with the loss of my mother and was unsure how to help me, and basically just let me draw all year to deal with the pain.  This was good for the artist in me and I think it was also very healing, but the following school years were very challenging and I struggled more then ever academically.

When I was 16, I stayed one summer with my grandmother.  She asked me to paint a very large 2' x 4' oil painting for her.  When you are young you have no fear, I had never painted in oils before, but I remember I just dove right in.  It actually turned out pertty good.  It hung in her home until her death, and then it hung in my father's home.  I think I realized then that my dream of becoming an artist would come true.

So after high school I went to Coalinga Community College to further pursue my dream.  I was told by everyone that I would not make a living at being an artist.  Despite their advise, I went on and majored in art.  I had an excellent art instructor and I excelled in art while doing pertty well in other subjects  too.  I started doing commissions for other students, mostly portraits in pastel or oils.  That is how I met my husband as he asked me to do a portrait for him.

After graduating, we got married and I became pregnant right away so didn't get my art career started.  We moved several times the next few years and I had two more children.  Being a full time mother and working in a restaurant left me little time for my art, I was able to do a few commissions here and there mostly of animals.

Years later, my marriage ended in divorce and after several years I remarried.  My husband always encouraged me to paint because he knew it was my passion.  I started taking art classes from several artists in different mediums.  Then one day I saw a watercolor painting by Liz James, a well known local artist, I was so taken by her art work that I decided that was how I wanted to paint.  Her watercolors where very bright not at all like others I had seen.  I took classes from her for three years and she became my true mentor.

After working in watercolors, painting realistic, I felt I wanted to paint abstract and non-objective but had no idea how to do that.  I then had a chance to take a workshop with Maxine Masterfield, doing ink pours.  It opened up a whole new world to me, I took three more workshops from her and then from several other nationally known artists that were experimental painters using many different types of mixed media.  This became my new way of painting.

I joined several different Art  Associations and became very active in the local arts. I was in four different galleries and in several art shows winning numerous awards.  I joined the Watercolor Society of Oregon and was jured into several of their shows and won thrid place in one show. I started teaching at the Art Associations then was asked to teach at Southwestern Community College.  I taught there for 13 years and really enjoyed it.

In 1996, my husband passed away leaving me in debt up to my elbows.  And in 1999 I moved to Wilseyville, Ca. to live with relatives there.  My Aunt had a large unused room in her house that I made into a studio and classroom space, and I began to teach again.  After 7 years, I moved to West Point just a few miles away.  I moved again to Pine Grove, Ca.

I am currently showing in Gallery 10, Sutter Creek, Ca. and Main Street Gallery, West Point, Ca. I belong to Amador County Arts Association and am current President, serve on the board of Amador Arts Council and I'm teaching watercolor classes in Jackson, Ca.

My life has been a journey with it's ups and downs, but the one thing that has been a constant is my art.  I am an artist, that is what I was meant to be.  That is my passion.

 

 

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