Born in California, I was raised in the Pacific Northwest and get much of my inspiration for my watercolor paintings from nature. Gardening, birdwatching, camping, hiking, mushroom picking, fishing, all provide unlimited subject matter for my paintings. I always have my camera, binoculars, painting supplies and sketchbook nearby and whenever I travel they are in my daypack.
As a child, drawing was my favorite pastime, until I discovered painting. I love the rich color and flow of watercolors. Subjects for my paintings can be taken from anywhere - a play of light on a piece of driftwood, the energy and color of a goldfinch, the sun warmed metal of an old rusty truck in a field of dry grass. I enjoy learning about my subject. I research the feeding and nesting habits of a bird or the structure of a plant; I draw and study the texture, perspective, and lighting possibilities. I try to visually emphasize what it was that caught my interest about my subject and transfer it into a design in watercolor.
I majored in Graphic Design my first time through college, got a job as a drafter in an engineering office, because I could draw and the pay was good. This led me back to school to get my Mechanical Engineering degree, and subsequently a career in Engineering. I never lost my love of drawing and painting, though, so I studied drawing and watercolor painting outside work hours. I have had several private shows and have displayed my work at art fairs and in public buildings. Although watercolors are my favorite medium, I also have done many other forms of art such as oils, acrylics, calligraphy, collage, fabric art, quilting, wood, metal, and have always loved photography which I use to record potential painting subjects.
Why are you an artist? I am an artist because I want to capture life's moments - my way. I love to work with my hands: painting, creating, building, growing. It gives me such joy.
Why is art important? Art feeds the soul. We need art - the process, the end result - to go beyond the routine of daily existence. Art moves us to live life.
Introduction to Watercolor