About Me

 

I was born and raised in Alaska and grew up in a small coal mining community.  I remember drawing horses from an early age on anything I could get my hands on! Our local high school wasn't fortunate enough to have a good art program, so by the time I graduated, I was mostly self taught.  I wanted to go to college and study art, but my parents didn't want me to be a "starving artist!"  So I studied art and business at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington.  I got a general art education and was able to try different things such as ceramics, photography, fiber arts, sculpture, printmaking, and watercolor and oil painting.  I did return to Alaska after college.  I got married, worked in insurance, and took the occasional commission for pet portraits.  I also painted wildlife.  A friend wrote an article about me that was published in a 1989 issue of Alaska magazine.  After having children, I had to put art aside for quite a long time.  When my kids were a bit older, my creative side came through, and I tried beading and taught classes.  I also tried my hand at chainmaille, polymer clay, and painting on glassware.    


In 2013, I had the urge to return to drawing.  I came across an online graphite artist, Linda Huber, and completed several projects with her.  The truth is, I learned more from her than I had in all my college classes!  I am still grateful to her for what she taught me.  My interests had also changed by then, and I began drawing portraits of people instead of horses and wildlife.  I entered work in the Alaska State Fair in the open category for the next 2 years and earned some 2nd place ribbons.  In 2015, I entered my work in the professional category, as I had begun to sell work again, and won the "Best in Show" ribbon.  That's my best ribbon to date!  I also came away with 2 first place ribbons.  


A year ago, I decided to venture back into color and tried my hand at colored pencils.  I love the tight control of drawing versus a paintbrush.  I'm still working on my techniques with colored pencil, but I am enjoying the dimension it brings to my work.  Although I love all types of drawing, my favorite method is still pencil, or graphite.  Using a pencil is so direct and detail is so easy to do.  


My favorite painter is John Singer Sargeant, and I was fortunate to see one of his magnificent paintings at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles recently.  It was so beautiful and about 15 feet tall!  His brush strokes are amazing!!  Looking at all of the amazing oil paintings almost made me want to take up oils again!  


My goal in drawing is to create something beautiful.  Something will intrigue me about a subject.  I can't always say what it is, but I just have to draw it!  I love to make people say "wow!"  I feel like I've done my job and have accomplished what I set out to do!


Here are some of my favorite artists:

 

Paul Cadden:   Paulcadden.com - His pencil work is amazing.

Armin Mersmann:  arminmersmann.com -  His drawings have incredible detail. 

Casey Baugh:   Caseybaugh.com -  I love his charcoal "sketches."  They are loose and yet not.  Beautiful!

Kelvin Okafor:  kelvinokaforart.com  - His drawings are what made me interested in hyperrealism.  They're amazing and so detailed!

Dirk Dzimirsky:  Dzimirsky.com  - His hyperrealism is amazing!

Christina Papagianni:  Find her on Facebook and Deviant art.  This artist works in pencil and colored pencil.  I love how she transforms an image into her own unique work!    

Bec Winnel:  becwinnel.com - I love how she captures the loveliness of her subjects in colored pencil.  The eyes are done so well.  

Monica Lee:  Find her on Facebook or Instagram.  She is a graphite artist with her own unique style of hyperrealism.