I paint waves, birds, or sweeping landscapes, seeking to capture the light. I am really painting the sun. It’s always the “star” the painting is built around. The light changes so quickly here that I am continually aware of the sun–where it is, what it’s touching, the colors as it moves to the West. One wouldn’t think the sun was so intriguing–here on the Oregon Coast–but it is always fascinating. I find long sunny days almost lackluster after the wildly erratic western Oregon skies.
I work on canvas cloth stretched on a wooden frame, using traditional oil paints and walnut oil. My brushes are made of pig or mongoose hair. It is slow art, taking about a week for the paint to dry. I use sketches and photographs, occasionally painting outdoors, but mostly in studio.
Imagination and enthusiasm are words I would use to describe my attitude towards art-making. We can all enjoy art–whether making it or enjoying it–and I am devoted to doing both.
With encouragement from family and teachers, I explored art on my own–enrolling in classes at community art centers and college. My studies resulted in several university degrees–none in art, however. As an elementary school teacher I began writing activity books for children, filled with my projects and illustrations. Seeking to know more, I went the PhD route, then taught college-level history part-time for 10 years. Meanwhile, I continued writing activity books, adding a few biographies for children and adults. I recently published my 23rd book.
My interests have always ranged widely, so while teaching at Western Oregon University, my husband and I created a goat dairy–Fairview Farm–and the nation’s only Goat Museum for visitors to the farm. For 6 years I worked as a “food artist” with milk products. That led to raising sheep and mohair goats, which resulted in lots of fleece I could dye and spin.
Now living in Lincoln City, I find the Oregon coast compels me to paint with oils. Walking on the windswept beaches leaves me in awe. I work at capturing the mood, to hold it for someone else to enjoy on the canvas.
Imagination and enthusiasm are words which describe my attitude towards art-making. We can all enjoy art–whether making it or enjoying it–and I am devoted to doing both.
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