It's difficult to put into words the many reasons why I draw and paint. But I think that the main thing is that I have been creating art since I was a little girl, and the creative process is simply in my blood.
I know that when I'm not drawing or painting, something important is missing from my life ... and I know this because there have been years in the past when I did not have enough time to focus on my art, and I felt lost.
The creative force inside me is my compass. I feel it guide me through life in many different ways. When I paint, I go to another place, a place where the chaos of the world goes away for a time and I am just me, making something beautiful with my hands. Making art makes me happy and it is something I want to share.
I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After highschool, I left to go to college in Los Angeles at Mt St Mary's College. There I had some great mentors and almost unlimited access to museum collections, especially the old Getty Museum where I would spend hours looking at Rembrandt and Van Gough among others.
It was while I was in college that I realized I wanted to be a painter. Before that I had thought about fashion design, graphic arts, etc, but nothing touched me the way drawing and painting did.
I loved drawing figures and what I saw around me but in painting I was working more loosely and abstract and when I expressed interest in traditional painting methods, I was told that there was no one there and that it had already beed done, etc...
During my junior year I went to study in Italy and from the moment I stood in the Uffizi I knew they were wrong. I knew for me there was so much to learn and that was where I wanted to go. I went on to France and fell in love again.
When I left Europe, I knew I wanted to return someday to learn the techniques I had see in some small ateliers in Florence. After graduating, I lived and worked in many places in the US and Europe and in 2002, I knew it was time for a change in my life. I applied to a small studio school in Florence and when I was accepted, I couldn't wait to go and learn. I had the wonderful opportunity not only to study with Charles Cecil, the head of the studio, but also to learn from his staff and observe their work as well. It was life and art changing for me and I will be forever grateful. I have taken what I learned while in Italy and added my own influences to form my style as a realist painter and draftsperson. I will continue to learn throughout my life and as a teacher, I hope not only to teach but also to learn from my students.
Teaching is a very important component of my life as an artist. After returning to the US, I have enjoyed working as a teacher and artist in Portland, the surrounding area, and now in the Columbia River Gorge where I live with my family. It is truly a beautiful and inspiring place. I paint because I must, beacuse when I do not I feel as though a part of me is missing and my hands itch for a brush...
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