Ever since kindergarten, when my teacher pinned a gold star on the big portrait I had painted of her in poster paint, I have known that I wanted to become an artist. Unfortunately, my parents didn't exactly support that career goal, so I became a language teacher instead.
Teaching is fun, but it is also very time consuming. When I was not in the classroom, I was correctng papers, recording grades, creating PowerPoint lessons, or working on lesson plans. There was little time left for my art. Like a lot of artists, I had to wait many years before I could really indulge in my hobby.
My opportunity came when my husband accepted a transfer to work in Central America. Suddenly, with no job of my own, I had lots of time to paint. I took out my oil paints and began painting almost daily. I had no studio, however, and my canvases, easels, and oil painting supplies soon took up a lot of our limited space. That inconvenience eventually led me to experiment with watercolor painting. It was quite different from oil painting. I didn't like it much at first, but it soon won me over.
The freshness and transparency of watercolor greatly appeals to me. I love how the whiteness of the paper can glow through several layers of paint. That luminous quality is unique to watercolor. Once I learned how to select the right colors and adapt to the movement of watery paint on a flat surface, I abandoned my oil paints entirely. Even after we returned to the United States and I returned to teaching, my devotion to watercolor continued.
The subject matter of my paintings varies, but my style remains stubbornly realistic even when I set out to paint more impressionistically or abstractly. I especially like painting children, flowers, and water. There is something about the purity, innocence, and beauty of these three subjects that inspires me to try to capture them on paper.
When my husband and I retired in 2015, we moved to southern Oregon where I have become very active in our local art community. I exhibit my work at Freed Winery in Winston and have had my work featured in Gallery Northwest in Roseburg and in Albany City Hall. I am also a member of the Watercolor Socity of Oregon and have had my work juried into their bi-annual shows every year since 2019. This year one of my paintings took Sixth Place in the 2023 Spring Exhibition and another was juried into the 48th Annual Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition in Texas. I hope to branch out and enter my work in other competitions in the years to come.