I have always loved art. I can remember in grade school the best day of the week was when we had art classes. Painting pictures and molding clay into animals to bring home to my mother made my week. Then, one Christmas, I received an art kit. It must of set my parents back a pretty penny because it was a large kit and contained watercolor paint, oil paints, acrylic paints, pastels, pencils, charcoal sticks, paper of all kinds, brushes, and instruction booklets. I went wild with it. It was (and I still consider it) the best Christmas gift ever. At that point I decided I wanted to be an artist.

After graduating from high school I went on to study art in college. There everyone was either doing realism or really modern stuff, experimental to the extreme. I was not really into that, but I tried to blend in. It did not work, so I left school to work in the real world for awhile. I did landscapes in acrylic during that time.

After a few years of that I made the decision to try again, so I enrolled part-time in a local four year college. I was there for two years when my step dad became very ill and needed full-time care. My mother could not do it because she was ill herself. So I quit school and took a family leave from work to care for him. As his caregiver I had very little time to myself and my art suffered. But one day on one of my free days I was at the bookstore and found a wonderful publication on the magazine racks. It was Somerset Studio May/June 2001. I was blown away by all the mixed media work inside. I loved it. I still have that issue. It opened a new world of paper arts to me. After that I found Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. These two publications as well as all the books I have bought because of them continued my education. I feel that I learned more from them than all the art classes I took.

I found that I had a desire to create again. From paper arts, mixed media came about, and I love to do large scale mixed media works or very small intimate works.

Of course, I still had my father to attend to, then after his death, my mother needed a caregiver. But she always encouraged me to create even when she did not recognize what I did as art. She died in 2009 and now I am back in the game full time.

I decided I did not need a college diploma to do good art. Maybe if I wanted to teach or work in a high profile job in the arts community or in advertising all I need was talent and a need to create. It did not matter if others did not like my work, only I did, but if others did that was great.

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