Me at my watercolor station
From an early age, I felt compelled to draw and paint, often with encouragement of my teachers and family. As I grew up into a practical young woman, I began to think that painting was something one did for enjoyment, not as a serious career. My head told me to be practical, but my heart told me another story. Eventually I followed my heart and made the switch to Fine Art in college.
In 1994, Kevin, my husband, and I took a leap of faith and started a wholesale business selling my framed original watercolors to retailers across the nation. I became overwhelmed by the “business” side of our company, Primitive Folk, and found little time to paint. However, in 1997 that all changed when agent Linda McDonald introduced me to licensing. Licensing my art meant I would get back to the creative side of my business, painting. We began a professional and personal relationship that has brought prosperity to each and hundreds of products to consumers hungry for my artwork. Products range from greeting cards and calendars to resin figurines and quilting fabric.
It has been an interesting ride so far and particularly interesting to see how my art has grown and transformed along the way. I went from painting small 5×5 and 5×7 loosely painted watercolors without much detail in the early days, to larger more detailed and colorful watercolor paintings and now onto acrylic painted over collaged papers. My subject matter varies from country teddy bears and gardening to whimsy chicks, folk angels and Early American folk art…..I love all styles and mediums….as long as I’m creating, I’m happy.
Most importantly, and always first in my life is my faith and family. I am a happy wife and mother of two amazing young men and step mom to a beautiful young woman. I am blessed to have been able to "be my own boss" while the kids were growing up so I could take time off when ever I was needed; whether it was for a field trip, a classroom party or to nurse a sick child back to health. I want to give special thanks to my husband and best friend, Kevin, for his unwavering encouragement and support throughout the years. I believe God has guided my career, bringing opportunities and special people my way in order to share the talent He gave me with the world.
Below is a peek into my studio. When we were looking for property it was imperative that it had a "pole barn" with electricity run to it in order for us to even take a look. One day on our way home from a tough racquetball workout, we followed the real estate signs down to a dead end road simply out of curiosity. It was spring 2001 when we slowly drove through this quiet neighborhood approaching what would become our wonderful home. We pulled alongside the garage where we could see the back yard and pond. The five acres of spring green grass looked like a park setting and the pond’s glassy stillness reflected the blue spruce trees in it’s fullness and then we saw it….there it was to the left of the pond behind a clump of tall pine trees…my future studio! We couldn’t wait to get a hold of our realtor to take a look at the house and barn. I remember us saying…who cares what the house looks like, the property alone is worth it! Welcome to our little piece of heaven on earth……..
This picture was taken from the north end of the pond. The studio is the building you see on the right and our house is on the left. The second summer after we moved in, Kevin put a beach on the pond (it’s to the right of that raft but out of view). I cannot tell you the amount of fun the boys had swimming and playing in that pond over the years. We would have cookouts, end-of-school-year parties, lazy Sundays just floating around in the cool water but now that they are older it is far and few between that they actually swim in it….Ryan still likes to fish and hunt for frogs a little and Kevin loves a quick dip after working hard in the yard.
My Studio….when it was first finished. Now I have to tell you…my work area for the previous 7 years had been in an old dingy, dark basement so my first request was lots of WINDOWS!!! The pole barn was basically a cement floor, no windows, no drywall or ceiling. Kevin and a friend of ours created an amazing place for me to work and grow my business. Job well done guys!!
I had to laugh when I saw this picture because the studio is chock full now! This photo was taken in 2002…many a painting has been done since! Every nook and cranny is filled with "something". My husband just said today (May 4, 2012) there isn’t a clean flat surface to set anything!"
My studio is set up in "stations" as I call them….I have a computer station, watercolor station, acrylic station, jewelry/clay station, punchneedle/hook rug station (which is in the kitchen)…..pictured above is a shot of my acrylic station.
I have been collecting antique bread boards/dough boards and cupboard doors since 2006 on our annual girls Ohio shopping trip (which we have been doing since 1992). I had a nice supply……until I started painting on them. I am always on the hunt for more. I find it hard to part with the paintings that are painted on these treasures since they are becoming harder to find and when I do find them they have become so darn expensive!
This is my clay station…..something I miss……I am so busy meeting licensing deadlines that I rarely have an opportunity to "play with clay". Some day…….
Something else I love to create yet rarely find the time to do…..make jewelry. I think when I retire, I will be just as busy as I am now with all the things I love to do……gardening, playing with clay, jewelry making, punchneedle, punch/hook rugs, and I will NEVER stop painting!!!!