When I paint I channel all of my emotions through my art. No matter how I feel when I begin, I am filled with serenity and joy during the act of creation and I want to share that peace with the viewer as they experience my paintings.
About the Artist
I live in Keizer Oregon with my husband, two Collies and as many roses as I can grow.
I’m a graduate of McNary High School and I went to College at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and the University of Oregon.
Years ago I exhibited at local art galleries including Ryan’s Gallery in Lincoln City Oregon and I taught watercolor classes as an adjunct professor at Chemeketa Community College.
Then my life changed. As a single working mom, I found it nearly impossible to find time or energy for my art, so for nearly 20 years I focused on other things and tamped down my impulse to create. Only able to paint on days off I found myself too worn down to try and my hands so beat up by my job that I couldn’t even hold a pencil.
Now my children are grown, I’m married to my best friend and I’m able to devote myself full time to my art. It’s been a new awakening, like a rebirth, and I am grateful every day that I step into my studio.
About My Art
All of my paintings are done on 100 percent acid-free rag, high-quality watercolor paper. I use M. Graham Artists watercolors because I can layer them and achieve deep, saturated colors with no graininess. They are formulated with Northwest Blackberry honey, an ancient technique which goes back centuries. This allows for smooth washes and strong colors with more pigment. I only use paints with a light fastness of 1 (excellent, lasts over 100 years in normal conditions of display indoors) or 11 (very good, lasts 50-100 years in normal conditions of display indoors) on the ASTM lightfastness scale.
We are blessed in the Willamette Valley with an abundance of flower gardens, and I try to paint on location in some of them every spring. I also take armfuls of flowers home. I love to paint from fresh flowers when I can get them and I grow many in my own garden. In the winter I use photos I or my husband have taken for my inspiration. I’m lucky to have a husband who loves flowers as much as I do and he’s always on the lookout for flowers I might like to paint.
I paint the flower first, working wet, using lots of water and enjoying where it takes the paint. Then I let it dry and start adding layers and shadows. Next, I create a background that I feel compliments the flower, once again using lots of water and encouraging the paint to move. I like to use spatters of water and sometimes salt to add interesting textures to the background. One last time I let it dry, then I add details, adjust shadows and it’s done.
The hardest part is knowing when to stop.