My mother said that she knew I would be an artist when I brought home a drawing of a turkey from Kindergarten. Well, she was right - but seriously, the drawing was that turkey drawing that all little kids do - trace your hand, add an eyeball dot and "gobbler" to the thumb and turn the rest of the fingers into feathers...yeah...you did one too. I went to Northwest Missouri State University and received my B.S. in ED. with a major in art in 1982. I was lucky enough to find a teaching job right away but the position was 3⁄4 time so after two years I decided to leave education - temporarily-I simply could not afford to stay. My thought was to sit out a year or two and then come back....To make a long story short, I spent the next 15 years in business and I loved it. I worked with some truly phenomenal people. But I didn’t make art. In the mid-90's a former student died while he was home on Thanksgiving break and I knew it was time to get back to the classroom. I teach drawing and painting to high school kids. I enjoyed being part of a community of artists at Hot Shops in Omaha. This rehabbed mattress factory just north of downtown houses 70 working artist who’s studios are open to visitors when they are “in the house” and during two annual open house events. I have taken classes with some great artists: Tony Rider, Gary Fagin and John Poon to name a few.
For years I worked in colored pencil. I love everything about it - not just the way it looks but the weight of the layers on the paper and even the smell of the colors.
About a decade ago, my best friend declared that I should paint. " Buy the biggest canvas and brushes you can and loosen up," she said. That first painting was really terrible. But, I was hooked.
I have 30 years experience in cooperate training and public education. I teach drawing and painting to high school kids during the week. Twice a year I teach adult classes at my studio.
I think artists get an idea and then they explore that idea until the idea is done with them. Then the next idea presents itself. In her book, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert calls this being visited by genius.
I work in acrylic but I work with subject matter that is more typical of an oil painter. I thing I love most about acrylic is that I am forced to work quickly and decisively due to the quick drying time of the paint. I love great brushwork and try to describe with every mark I make on a canvas.
A couple of years ago I got a copy of Carol Marine's book, Daily Painting. I started to work with the idea of doing small quick paintings of objects. I limit my time to 2 hours of less on these small pieces.
I have used this discipline of painting small and often in my painting classes. Students have found it very helpful to study basic forms of objects in the studio and then paint those same forms in the landscape.