I am a self-taught artist living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I got a late start because of a discouraging parent who said, 'What are you going to do with that?!' and wouldn't help with college as a result. So instead, I joined the U.S. Navy and learned computers. I've been in software development ever since (24 years of software now). Halloween became my favorite holiday because I could be my most creative. I painted crafts in 2004-2005. At this point, a local gallery owner suggested I take a 3 day oil painting workshop. So I tried it. I wasn't very good but very interested. Unable to further myself along, I gave up. But I kept all of my brushes and paints. In 2010, I tried again. Still frustrated, I began looking for help close to my home. With a 200 mile commute for work, my time limited me. But I found a group. I became determined.
So I began painting in earnest January 2013. With the help of several professional painters in my area, I have enjoyed critiques to aid my emerging style. I was accepted to the Foothills Painters professional group as well as the Uni 4 Visual Artists group both in central North Carolina during 2013. I have been apprenticing with a wildlife painter with 35 years experience so that I can continue to improve. His 'distance apprenticeship' is a daily communication of tasks he assigns me and critique to continue my learning.
As for my favorite way to paint, I love Direct painting. I like treading between realism and loose impressionism. Finishing a painting in one sitting is ideal. I may paint from life or paint from a combination of reference photographs with a limited palette to create my own work. I paint daily on my favorite medium- oil on hardboard. Doing abstracts keeps me loosened up from the details and fully engaged in color.
My favorite things to paint are frogs. I love them. However, you will not find me limited to them. They are simply my “comfort food” that I turn to when I need to feel good about something quickly.
I respect every other artist’s unique flare and I embrace opportunities to try new ideas from his/her experiences.
When I started painting, I was told, “Paint what you love.” And I do, Cheers!