I was born and raised in upstate New York. My parents coming from two culturally diverse backgrounds. My mother from the deep south, Marion, Alabama never leaving her small home town until she married, and my father, from Binghamton, NY., the son of immigrants.
I grew up with beautiful folk art all around me. My paternal grandmother was from Moravia in Czechoslovakia and generationally, a family of wonderful artist. As a child I was attracted to art and color in general. One of my most prized gifts as a child was the “big” box of 72 colors of Crayola crayons.
During this time my grandmother started teaching me traditional flower motifs used in their painting, embroidery and decoration. My interest in art continued through my school years, basically with drawing, never getting into paint. I graduated college from SUNY Oneonta majoring in Home Economics Education. My creativity, design and teaching skills were honed during that time.
It wasn’t until I was married, with a newborn, that I saw a class advertised at a local craft shop on learning to paint. It caught my attention because the project was a traditional “folk art” design. I signed up for the class and that was the beginning of my painting career!
At the same time, the acrylic paints that we all use were just emerging in the market and when I discovered Jo Sonja Jansen’s books at the same time I knew I was on the right path. I took a few classes at first, but after learning a few basics, my own creativity emerged.
I taught at a local craft shop, our local SDP chapter meetings, and designed special projects for fundraisers and NET. Teaching on a regular basics was eventually curtailed as many shops were starting to close and I was involved in a family print and graphics business.
In 2016 my friend encouraged me to submit a project to teach at NET. It was the beginning of a new journey. I received such a positive response that I started accepting invitations to travel teach. The next chapter is still being written as Covid-19 entered the picture and we are embarking on ZOOM. I guess if you have a true passion – you will find a way. I’m still living in the area where I grew up with my husband Larry. My two grown daughters are married and live close by, and each has given us the joy of a granddaughter. I am so blessed to have a family that supports me in all of my endeavors