Growing up at Lake Tahoe, nature was always a big part of my life. When I was young, I spent most of my time outdoors. Winter was for skiing and playing in the snow. Summers were spent hiking and fishing with my Dad. During these years of exploration, I became fascinated by my natural surroundings. I loved the colors, shapes and limitless variations of the landscape, especially the microcosm of rocks, tree bark, leaves, and wildflowers. My dream was to pursue a career in art... to recreate all those natural elements I loved, and share them with others. Unfortunately, the parents were practical and not very supportive of my dream (after all, you can't "make a living" being an artist). And because I actually needed to make a living, my art career was put on hold for many years.
Some of those years spent making a living were okay (office jobs), others were actually a lot of fun and even creative (floral designer, preschool teacher, stained & sandblasted glasswork). Finally, in 2000, I started taking art courses at Lake Tahoe Community College, and under the guidance of wonderful instructors (artists themselves), I watched my skills grow tremendously. Although I dabbled in a variety of styles and media, my real love was always watercolor... that ever elusive, unpredictable, very challenging medium.
It has taken me several years to become proficient and at least enjoy the medium without pulling out my hair. I paint in a realistic style, sometimes bordering on photorealism. I create "portraits" of natural subjects by focusing in close on the object, emphasizing realistic structure and details, and dramatic contrasts between light, shadow, and color. I want my viewers to notice details in my paintings that they would not normally notice in life. I employ and experiment with glazing and color mingling to achieve the effects I am looking for in my art. Several years ago, I also started painting with dyes on silk fabric (silk painting). Love the vibrant colors and unpredictability of the medium.
My favorite subjects follow those natural surroundings I grew up around. I love painting aspen and other unique trees, fall leaves, rocks, flowers, mushrooms, frogs, and landscapes. After my first visit to Hawaii, I became fascinated with the sea turtles, and they have been a favorite subject of mine ever since. Recently, I expanded on my "ocean" subjects to now include most all marine life (sea otters, fish, seals, jellyfish, etc.). Most recently I have become fascinated with owls, birds, and other wildlife.