Born in Norfolk, Va, 1963, and raised for the most part in Elizabeth City, NC, I was exposed to art at a young age by my mother who was an avid artist in her own right. Thanks to her, my next oldest brother Phillip and I grew up in an artful environment and were encouraged to make and create at any given opportunity. I do remember, as a child, going to a friend’s house and realizing that there was no “art table” or “art corner” in her house. Such a notion was beyond my comprehension!
After 18 years of marriage, a divorce and raising 3 sons, I quit my job as an elementary teacher assistant and turned my attention towards owning and operating my own studio in Elizabeth City. It was there that I taught, made and sold art on a daily basis. I have always felt fortunate that I have been able to pursue and live my dream, and make somewhat of a living doing what I am passionate about.
Self taught, I work in many mediums, however my strong suit lies in mixed media and collage, and acrylic work. My work and style varies from piece to piece depending on the mood and time/supplies allotted for any given art session. Some people say my work is “primitive” or “childlike”, being playful in appearance, while I can alternatively create a photographically realistic piece as well. A large part of the end result lies in the inspiration and intent of the piece.
Maya Angelou once said, “We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans – because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone – because we have the impulse to explain who we are.”
That quote very much describes how I feel about art, it is my passion, so much so that to me it’s more of a verb than a noun. I learn something every time I wet a brush, and that is what makes the desire to paint and create so strong in me. After having lost my brother Phil to cancer in May of 2015, art makes me still feel connected to him, as he was a very prolific abstract artist. We were always painting together and he is sorely missed, the art remains somewhat therapeutic for me.
I feel fortunate that I found my way to the North Carolina Mountains in 2014, a place I am happy to call home. I am exploring Plein Air painting and teaching/ participating in workshops when possible. I am scheduled to teach a few classes at the Florence Thomas School of Art this year, and my artwork can also be seen at “Pie on the Mountain” in Lansing, NC.