I simply must paint. I am an artist and have been for as long as I can remember. I received my first set of oil paints from an aunt, who was also an artist, at the age of seven. I began painting long before I owned my own paints. My aunt and uncle sold their paintings at a variety of exhibits, shows, and fairs, often with me in tow. My aunt taught me simple techniques with incredible patience, and I actually sold my first painting while at a mall art fair with her. The experience was intoxicating!
I continued to paint throughout my young life, on canvas when I could afford it, barn board when I could find it, and just about anything else lying around that looked alone and forgotten. My mother allowed me take lessons from a lady named Gayle Strider in Hartselle, our home town. I remember wandering through her home, Hartwood Gallery, in utter amazement at the creations on her walls. Although the instruction seemed very rigid in basic still life, shapes, shading, and composition, I still remember her constant urging to simplify and not over work the piece. My perfection nature found it difficult to both accurately convey the rigidity of the objects before me, while leaving some of the details undone. Mrs. Strider’s instruction gave me the basis for the works that won countless ribbons in community art shows in the ‘70’s. But life was about to get in the way.
Convinced that my Father was probably right, that I could never “make a living” creating art, coupled with the fact that he would not support my education unless it was in a “practical pursuit”, I gave up on my dream. I married, had children, and became an accountant. Then, around 2006, the marriage grew apart, children grew up, and I grew bored. I embarked on a personal journey of discovery, which brought me full circle. Who am I? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? The answers were, as they had always been. I am an artist. I must paint.
I most enjoy painting landscapes. Places I have been, places I want to go, and places that just give me peace. Sometimes they are very real depictions of a scene and at other times they represent the emotion of the space. Welcome to my endless journey of discovery.