My earliest memory of my father was that he drew horses' heads for me. I was 2. Other than that, there is absolutely no record of any artistic tendencies on either side of my family tree. It was therefore a big surprise to me in later years that I showed some talent in drawing, and later in painting. It wasn't until I had retired from my professional life that I took up art as a hobby. My very first attempt was a pencil drawing I did of two beautiful kittens belonging to my associate and her husband. From there I branched out and took an acrylic color theory one-day class at our local community center and began playing with acrylics. Shortly after that I took a color theory class in oil paints, and I have been using that medium ever since.
I am primarily self-trained, and have learned almost everything I know from art books and instructional DVDs, as well as workshops with great artists, and I can always count on the kindness and critiques of all my dear friends, some of whom are well-known artists and art teachers.
My paintings don't carry a hidden message, and they don't explore a deep and dark part of my youth. They are the product of many happy hours. I like to think they are interesting and peaceful to look at, and convey my love for nature. The large atmospheric oil paintings actually paint themselves, and I have no idea what they are going to look like. After I have begun the process, the brushes just go where they want to go. It's always a surprise to me how they turn out.
My other love is animals. My friends and I have rescued many dogs and cats over the years, and currently I have two cats who were feral and now coexist with me. My happiest time is when I capture the eyes of the pets I'm painting – when it's right on, and looks like them, I know I've got it. The "a-ha" moment.
I have volunteer jobs that take some of my time every week, but I try to make painting a daily event. I do enjoy being in the studio and feel incomplete if I am not there, even if only for a short time every day. Most days, though, I'm there until daylight ends. Such a blessed life.