One of my earliest memories was standing up in my crib, and watching my mom paint “Dumbo the Flying Elephant” (and her mom) on my nursery wall. It’s a vivid memory—I can still remember the details of the mural. My mother was very artistic and she had a great deal of influence on thedirections my life took. I was always drawing growing up, and she was very supportive, and always encouraged me to set my sights on a career in art.Unfortunately, she died young, before I ever became a
professional artist, but she passed her creativity on to me, so she still lives on through my art. (There is also an artistic gene on my dad’s side too). Growing up in California, I was able to take a lot of art classes without it costing a fortune. I attended 4 colleges in California and New Mexico, all of which had terrific art departments. I’ve experimented in almost every media, from life drawing to lost wax sculpture, Japanese watercolor, China porcelain painting, ceramics and raku (I’ve even made my own glazes), wielding, epoxy and fiberglass sculpture, furniture building, and stained glass to name a few. I was always drawing growing up, and my parents were very “supportive”.
In between college classes, I lived the typical life of a Hippie in the ’70s, and hitchhiked to parts unknown, learning a great deal about the world. I spent a lot of time in Mexico, especially Oaxaca. I also found myself in Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and through the Caribbean. Hawaii was another one of my favorite haunts.
When my mother died in the late ’70s, I moved to Florida (at the time, thinking it would be just another temporary adventure) where I bought a big, old, beautiful wooden sailboat, and moved to the keys where I lived on her for several years, all the while learning to sail. My longest journey on the “Fairwind” was to Guatemala for three months. On the sail back we got into a hurricane and were rescued by the Coast Guard, but that’s another story. Eventually I wound up back in Clearwater, Florida and have been here ever since (living with my most wonderful hubby, Nick Beck).
In the mid ’80s, I began my art business while waiting tables at night. I started out painting on furniture and fabric, and eventually walls, learning about Tromp-l’oeil and faux finishes as I went. In 1990, I got into furniture design with a partner and we did the art show circuit for about five years. We won lots of awards, got lots of press, and were even in several museums, but didn’t make a lot of money, so I got back into what I really love—painting big pictures on people’s walls!
My business is thriving, and I have met so many wonderful people and families creating joy for them to look at every day. I give thanks every day that I was lucky enough to be born with this talent and have had the opportunity to do something fun and wonderful with it!