My venture into teaching art and integrating art into the academic curriculum prompted interest by students into my background leading up to my professional career choice and the many influential people that lit my artistic fire.
As the youngest in a family of three, with age differences of 11 and 13 years, I spent much of my alone time as a child drawing. My father’s display of my artwork down the hallway of “The American Engraving Company” (located upstairs where the Film Studies Center now resides) on S.W. 10th and Salmon, helped to encourage my career as an artist. In addition, Kansas City artist, Charles Clayton rented space at the end of the hall since his move to Portland in 1921. He worked in this same art and engraving plant until his death in 1975. My growing up years were imprinted with a deep fascination in the artist’s studio. Watching a professional artist at work was magic before my eyes.
My art training started at age 12 at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, formerly the Museum Art School. After high school, I spent 2 years in the Museum school’s degree program where I was influenced by Paul Missal and Jay Backstrand. I then entered the advertising/illustration program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. There I was inspired passionately to oil painting by the work of artist Dan McCaw, who introduced us to Fechin and Sorolla. I learned from many other dynamic staff members including Harry Carmean and Richard Bunkall.
In addition to my formal training, I have studied with local talents including cartoonist Bill Plympton and artists/instructors: Cliff Smith, Ruben Arizpe, and Eric Jacobsen.
In 2008, through a generous grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, I studied in an advanced portrait workshop at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, PA. run by internationally acclaimed portrait artist, Nelson Shanks.
In 2009 I entered Marylhurst Universities Liberal Arts program and I received my BFA in painting in 2012. I was awarded an Artistic Focus Project Grant through The Regional Arts and Culture Council for my figure painting series “Northwest neighbors: Who Are We?” Numerous exhibits were mounted in 2013. In 2014 two of my paintings were finalists in a national competition.
I am a member of the Portrait Society of America and the Oregon Society of Artists. I attend the Alla Prima weekly breakfast meeting( a gathering of artists discussing the trade and recent work), a weekly model painting session and I paint outdoors with friends and students on a regular basis. I am continually inspired by the rich art community here in our local area.