THE ARTIST & THE PROCESS
My life story and art story are inextricably woven together. As a young person, I never knew that art could be a viable part of my life. When I started grad school, I could not have predicted that an elective interior design course would open the door for me to be a professional creative. But it did, and for the next decade, I helped my interior design clients organize their spaces and colorize their lives. Then, as an art supply store manager, I discovered a passion for creating my own art. I played with materials, from paints to paper collage, and had a grand time. I took art courses, became involved in the art community, and began to see my work in galleries and art shows.
I am an illustrator of nature and wildlife. Nature connects me to spirit and motivates my creative thinking. My love of the nature’s diverse beauty and its ever changing presence, both day to day and season to season, inspires me. Forms, juxtapositions, colors, details and textures fascinate me. If we encounter each other hiking through the mountains, you will notice my ever present sketchbook and camera. Every day I study and visually record garden flowers, wildflowers, mushrooms and other treasures that catch my attention.
Back in my studio I use the visual references I have sketched and photographed to inspire and direct my illustrations. I start with a pencil drawing, and create a carefully considered composition which I refine as I develop the skeleton of the image with pen and sepia ink. I strive towards a realistic interpretation of my subject and use design markers to lay in areas of color that reflect a natural appearance. When the design and color rendering represents the subject and my experience with it, balance is achieved and the artwork is completed.
Life presents herself as a visual and kinesthetic experience. To see and notice are essential aspects of drawing, which in itself involves movement - of eye and hand, body and imagination. Through this lens, I observe and explore my surroundings. In natural sequence I draw, design, create art, teach and mentor others. The journey is tangible - an experience - an illustration, a work of art - and whenever I can share my creativity with others… the possibility of a special lifetime connection.
My personal artwork and professional design experience lead to becoming a professor of drawing & design in the Interior Design department at Florida State College at Jacksonville. For over 15 years I have had the joy of guiding students in the development of their own visual expression. Teaching and mentoring creativity is a deeply rewarding process, in part because art is so deeply personal. It is also a way to pass on the value of seeing the world through an artist’s eyes. Mastering new technologies has helped me magnify the benefits of teaching and to expand the reach of my personal artwork.
Currently I exhibit and sell my illustrations, create commissioned illustrations for patrons, publications and businesses, and teach my easily understood methods of developing drawing skills to both university students online, and aspiring creatives in the greater community. My book, EXPLORING PERSPECTIVE HAND DRAWING, and online drawing classes are available internationally. In-person classes and workshops are conducted in the Asheville/Black Mountain region of Western North Carolina where I live.