In the summer of 1992 my mom and I took a watercolor painting class at Drake High, my old school. I played around a little with painting small vases of flowers from life for a few months, but then hardly painted at all for nearly a decade. Life changes (divorce, living abroad, meeting and marrying my husband Joe) brought me to a more collected and creative place and by 2000 or so I began to paint again. I took a few workshops and adult education classes, one community college credit class on color theory – but no other art training. I decided that I was going to finish every painting I started – before beginning another – finding my way through all the parts that I struggled with and this has turned out to be the best way to learn. There is no substitute for putting brush to paint to paper, feeling the motions and seeing the results. I started small – a quarter sheet of watercolor paper – and quickly progressed to painting on full sheets. But, my painting time was quite sporadic – sometimes the work would lie untouched for months and months.
In 2004 I was faced with an enormous disappointment – that I’d not be giving birth to my own children in this lifetime. It was unthinkable that my life would not include having and raising children – I am a born mother. My response to the wave of grief was to ask for the energy and inspiration to pursue adoption, or to be given something else to that would matter to me as much. At first it seemed that something else was life coaching and I enrolled in a coach training program in 2005.
In the winter of 2006, just as I was completing my training and planning to build a coaching practice, my friend Eleanor Harvey asked me if I wanted to do Marin Open Studios together the following May. I replied with “that means I have to sell my art, right?” She told me, yes, that was the idea! At that time, my pictures were so precious – they took me forever to do and they were my babies! But a voice told me that if I wanted more art to come through me, I needed to let them go.
That spring I jumped in to preparing for open studios with a vengeance. Another friend said that original art doesn’t sell that readily, so I followed my mom’s lead and sought out having my art reproduced. I found Steve Kimball and Light Rain in San Rafael (soon after I went to work there for nearly 5 years!) to make giclee reproductions of all my work. And I had greeting cards made from an offset printer. Open Studios brought an overwhelming response to my work inspiring me to paint more and search out other ways to show and sell my artwork – eclipsing my intention to be a life coach at that point.
Since late summer 2011, I’ve begun to share what I’ve learned with weekly watercolor groups and this is my new frontier. Because I am largely self-taught, I had no idea what I knew – painting is such an intuitive process for me. I’ve discovered that if you put a painter and her or his work and questions in front of me, just what is needed comes spilling out of me. My experience now is that I was born to do this. The part of me that was drawn to life coaching informs how I teach, bringing me full circle. I’m so clear now that I have indeed been given the “something else.” What I do is filled with purpose and meaning and I feel so privileged to be spending my life this way.
2007: Marin County Fair, First Place, Watermedia,
2008: Marin County Fair, Second Place, Giclee Prints Honorable Mention, 2-D work, Merit Award, 2-D work
2009: Marin County Fair, Award of Merit, Honorable Mention 2-D work
2010: Marin County Fair, Barbara McQuaid Award of Excellence, Second Place, Watermedia, Merit Award, 2-D Work
2011: Marin County Fair, 3 ribbons (Honorable Mention and Merit Awards)
2012: Marin County Fair, Marin Artist of the Year
2013: Marin County Fair, 3 ribbons (Honorable Mention and Special Awards)
2014: Marin County Fair, First Place, Watermedia
2015: Marin County Fair, First Place, Watermedia
2008: California State Fair, Award of Merit, The Art of Wine category
2009: California State Fair, Award of Merit, Publisher’s Award
2010: California State Fair, Award of Excellence
2011: California State Fair, Award of Merit, Publisher’s Award
2012: California State Fair, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit, 2 Publisher’s Awards
2011: Sausalito Art Festival, First Place, Watercolor
2012: Sausalito Art Festival, First Place, Watercolor
Marin Society of Artists, Open Juried Fine Art Show, July 2007
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 4th Annual National Juried Exhibition, August 2007
Aurora Colors Gallery, Petaluma, CA – July 2008 – December 2009
“Bloom” – The Village Gallery, Mississauga, ON, Canada – Spring 2009, Spring 2010
North Bay Gallery, Yountville and Sonoma, CA – August 2009 – December 2010
American Women Artists, October 2009 – National Juried Competition
Picture Perfect Gallery – 2 person show – March 2 – April 28, 2010
Anthony Miceli Gallery – Two Bird Café – solo show – January 3 – March 7, 2011
Allison McCrady Gallery, Berkeley and Orinda, CA – on going exhibitions, 2011 – 2012
Superfresh Gallery, Novato, CA – on going exhibition since December 2012 – food-related art
Mine, Gallery and Creative Space, Fairfax, CA – Group Exhibition, April 2013
Redwood Foyer, Veteran’s Auditorium – Group Exhibition, 2014
Marin Center, Showcase Theater atrium – “Life in Full Bloom” – Inaugural Group Exhibition, 537 Magnolia Artists (the artists in my groups) – 2015
Redwood Foyer, Veteran’s Auditorium – “Incredible Edibles” – 537 Magnolia Artists – 2015