My earliest memory of sketching is in a cow pasture. I think I was 10. A Saturday children's class. I remember butterscotch candies being a part of that day. Funny the memories that stay with us, isn’t it?
At age 13, my mother placed me in a Saturday morning painting class at Moyer’s Art Gallery in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Little did she know the lifelong effect her choice would have. As the years progressed, I began to refer to the instructor, Jeanie Moyer, as “my other mother” and she to me as “her other daughter.” Jeanie was my first exposure to spirituality, and to ways of viewing the world differently than what I learned at home. I continued in classes with her until relocating to Cape Cod in 1997.
I studied a combined art and academic curriculum in high school. Though urged to pursue art in college, I made an intentional decision to do otherwise. I was under the mistaken assumption that work and fun could not be synonymous, and I didn't want to destroy my love of painting.
I started college as an Animal Science major at the University of Delaware (back to the cow fields and barns), then transferred to Gettysburg College where I struggled through a Biology major (about as similar to animal science as horse shoes and running shoes.) During a one month January term I took a figure drawing course from the head of the art department, a man notorious for "no A’s" and yes, I earned an A. Then went back to the labs.
I'm a firm believer that God gives us signs in life. I suppose I wasn’t paying attention.
Following graduation, there was one short year at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg. My faith deepened, even as my grades and life pointed me in directions that would not include ordination as a Lutheran pastor.
All the while I continued to paint for fun. At age 35, I was offered my first painting commission. Found myself once again in a farm field, camera around my neck and sketchbook in hand. I wore jeans and a t-shirt and was paid todo something I loved. Said to myself, “oh, so THIS is what work can feel like.”
I relocated to Cape Cod in 1997. Opened my first gallery in the breezeway of my home. Then a different one on Main Street in Falmouth in 2009, finally settling into a smaller working studio in West Falmouth from 2014-2016. Acknowledging that maintaining retail hours is not my strong suit, I moved my studio back home in 2017 to focus on the painting itself.
I choose to think of my style as impressionistic realism, with occasional hints of whimsy, to include landscapes, seascapes, and skies both vivid and soothing. In October, 2018 I began experimenting with abstract painting, embracing the seemingly random patterns of paint that come from growing quiet, listening for inspiration, and moving the palette knife where I feel led on the canvas. I NOW have finally arrived at a place in my painting career where I believe I have a process to discuss.
I have taught classes in basic drawing and painting, and spiritual creativity. Drawing classes were based on Betty Edwards’ book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Creativity courses were based in original material as well as Julia Cameron's’ book The Artist’s Way.
In 2008, I wrote and illustrated MIMI'S JOY, an inspirational book featuring pieces of my paintings,
In June of 2015, I published my first novel, PAINTING LILY. I intended it as a thought provoking read, what I now call "a cautionary tale." Please don't let the title mis-lead you. It's not about painting. It’s about a woman who makes some seriously unwise choices, then tries to figure out how to get her life back on track, in spite of those choices.