As a mixed media artist working in Central Pennsylvania, I enjoy playing with shadow and color in my art. I love working with watercolor media and acrylics, finishing pieces by adding charcoal or other dark “smudge-able” media to the edges, nooks and crannies.
My focus is creating faces, which feature prominently in my work, but I am willing to try just about anything. I have done florals, horses, and a chameleon to name a few. I don’t lean toward realism, but stay more impressionist or whimsical in my style. Working in layers, I like to see how the media work with each other to let the subject emerge. I find this gives the pieces their own personality.
My favorite piece of advice is: “If you aren’t happy with it, then it isn’t finished.”. That means that it is rare that I throw away or gesso over a piece I am not happy with. I’ll keep coming back to it and see if I can find what wants to emerge. I just think some come to me more easily than others.
Taking art classes is a bit of an addiction for me, but it has allowed me to try new media and new styles to incorporate into my own art. It also keeps me creating through creative droughts, and helps to stretch and inspire me. There are so many ways to create and so many wonderful artists out there!
My Path to Art
In 2014, my youngest son was about to be a senior in high school and the empty nest was looming. I started a search for a new hobby to help keep me busy. I tried a few things – like knitting – where I just struggled to hit my stride. Then my friend and mentor, Misty Frederick Ritz, sent out a request to her friends about attending the first of a painting class she was going to teach. I signed up assuming I would fail and then would return to my search.
I had taken a lot of art classes in high school and even got accepted to a college in an art program, but I had not done any serious art since college. That was in large part because of those college experiences – which were harsh and unforgiving. My most sharp memory is of a thick pad of paper that we were to quickly fill with content. I choked. I just could not decide what to draw onto any page. There were three weeks of horrible experiences with the professor calling me out in front of the class and me feeling completely horrible before I switched my major and walked away from any serious expectations that I could create real art. A blank white page is still the stuff of nightmares to me!
So, taking Misty’s class was a step out of the ordinary. In fact, I almost didn’t go. That may have been my saving grace. My low expectations of my abilities and my assumption that anything I would do would fail left me open to experiment and to be loose enough to actually be successful. It helped that Misty was born to teach art! Everyone in the class created their own masterpiece. But for me it lit a fire. And I have not stopped creating since that day.
I am a truly fortunate woman. I have a full time job, am the mom of two great boys, have a wonderful boyfriend, and have several other hobbies. My “day job” is in technology testing software. I find that being creative helps in this career without draining my creativity dry. And my coworkers are finally used to frequent paint splatters on my hands or in my hair – and the occasional lunch time art project sprawled out on my desk.
I am a single mom with two grown sons. My oldest is married and in the United States Army. He is always heading somewhere new and has really grown into a wonderful young man. He is married to my daughter-in-law – a fabulous woman who takes care of my son and my three grand-puppies through the moves and deployments. My youngest son is currently in college living those wonderfully exciting years of exploration. He pops in and out as the school schedule has breaks and it is so exciting to see him change and grow as he moves toward graduation. I can’t tell you how proud I am of them all!
You are seeing this website because of the wonderful work of my boyfriend, Jerry. He is my rock and encourages me endlessly. We live together in his adorable house – and he has not complained at all about the little pockets I have carved out and filled with paints and brushes! Jerry and I share a lot of hobbies – hiking, cooking, watching movies, music, and travelling – but we also have our own interests. I also love sewing, crocheting, gardening, and researching my ancestry.
We have two cats, Delia and Jinx. They provide us with endless entertainment and will no doubt be the subject of many a blog post.
Finding Out More
Thank you so much for visiting my website! I hope you find something that you enjoy and that inspires you. Please visit my portfolio to see more of my work. To find out more about the making of certain pieces or to get more stories about my misadventures (with and without the cats), head over to my blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or find me on social media: