I often ponder why I am an artist. As a child, I loved drawing and I remember being told how good I was. Yet, when it came to picking a career track, I was told that it was impractical and was encouraged to become a teacher. While at the University of Illinois, I realized that this was not the right path for myself and switched my major to painting and drawing. This decision resulted in my parents cutting off any financial support. I still managed to get my fine arts degree and I eagerly embarked on a career as a production artist at an advertising studio in Chicago.
I had the opportunity to move to beautiful Marin County in California where I still reside today. Over time, as children and a family business became the center of my life, my painting and art materials gathered dust. A fundraiser for my children’s school motivated me to unearth my art supplies and submit my first “Pet Portrait” for auction. People loved it and I was thrilled.
However, it wasn't until recently, that I gathered the courage to return to my art. Just as I believed I was finally on the right path and was building momentum, I received a frightening diagnosis. I have Parkinson's disease.
How would I, an artist who loves detail, be able to continue my art with tremors? With the encouragement of my loving son, daughter, and family, I have continued. In March of this year (as life dramatically shifted due to Covid), I pulled out a large canvas and started my first painting in years. Four months and thousands of strokes later, I created the most detailed painting of my life and the healing process began.
What I have learned is every day is a gift. It has been a long journey, but I am finally pursuing my life long passion of creating art. I continue to focus on pet portraits, wildlife and the joy and beauty that they bring into our lives. Currently working in pencil, ink, pastels and acrylic paint, I am thankful for the many commissions that allow me to pursue my dream of being a full time artist. I welcome this journey and look forward to a creating works of art that are beautiful and meaningful to my clients. I am proud to be an artist.
I will donate 1% of my profits to The Michael J. Fox Foundation