I always enjoyed coloring books as a child but when, at eight years old, I took a summer art class for children at Jackson State Community College in West Tennessee, I was hooked! I loved charcoal and pastels. My love of charcoal continued in drawing classes at Volunteer State Community College in Middle Tennessee. While enrolled there, I finally got to take painting classes in oil - my favorite medium. Since then I have participated in a number of workshops in watercolors as well.
Now that I have finally fulfilled a life long dream of moving to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, I go each October to Cades Cove and Clingmans Dome to take photos for reference material for my colorful landscapes. I also often photograph my rose bushes and irises to serve as inspiration for paintings of my favorite flowers. I like how backlighting illuminates the petals and seems to make the flower glow from within. I am always on the look out for still life subject matter that catches my eye in public. I am fascinated by how a backlit orange slice reveals its seeds inside as shadows. I love the trompe l'oeil effect of an orange peel or knife jutting forward off the table edge. Ordinary subjects like hamburgers, salt shakers, and ketchup bottles take on a dramatic ephemeral glow in the evening sunlight.
I still sometimes use a brush for oils, but mostly I prefer using painting knives and paint straight from the tube impasto. I absolutely love how oil paint can be dragged over another color hitting high spots and creating multicolored strokes and extreme texture. I prefer to paint impasto, chiaroscuro and bright colors. For me it's all about the evening sunlight creating dramatic chiraroscuro, bold color and larger than life familiar subjects.
First Art Class Age 8 - charcoal
Second Art Class Age 9 - pastel