Painting – Oil on board or canvas

What is your background? Do you have a degree or are you self-taught?

As an artist I am self taught. I have Master degrees in History and an ALA accreditation in MLS (Master of Library Science).

How did your life as an artist first begin?

Since I can remember I have been doing art, but I became a full time artist in 2014.

What does your art aim to say to your audience?

My answer here is two fold. In my animal portraits and wildlife I wish to convey the beauty of the creatures that accompany us in our life journeys often as a memorial to a special relationship that has developed in that companionship. Secondly, in my spiritual pieces I commit to canvas some of the deeper spiritual truths I have been introduced to in my journey inward. These are pieces I seldom ‘show’ but I hope communicate the dance of life we are all invited to attend.

Who has been your biggest influence?

Although my work is nothing like his I like Norman Rockwell because his work illustrates life that is rich and full of the stories that we carry together. I enjoy Edwin Landseer because I secretly wish my work would stand up to his both in execution and story telling.

Landseer, Edwin Henry; The Monarch of the Glen; National Galleries of Scotland;

How has your practice changed over time?

For years I was afraid of oils while I would ‘fall into’ so many glorious oil pieces I saw in museums or galleries. Finally with encouragement from my husband I took an introduction class in 1985 from Diane Burrell (Her interview is coming soon!). This lasted for about four months and was cut short by the birth of my son!

Is art your main career? Has your previous jobs influenced how you have made art? 

My studio is mostly pet portraits that have been commissioned, heavy with equine subjects. I also produce some wildlife and landscape and the before mentioned spiritual pieces. I have written two icons and have another in the very early planning stage. I retired from a wonderfully fulfilling career in public education where I served as a high school librarian/ media specialist and later as a classroom teacher. Once I found oils I never looked back however I have evolved the processes and materials from board preparation to final glazing. I have been blessed by other artists’ generous sharing all along this journey. From an equine artist in Ireland to wildlife artists in Montana and Wisconsin I have found ‘studio comrades ‘ along the way!

What is your favorite time period of art?

I’m not an art historian but I love Landseer 1800’s.

Do you have a favorite work of art?

“Monarch of the Glenn” (see above) and “Rent Day in the Wilderness”
Landseer, Edwin Henry; Rent Day in the Wilderness; National Galleries of Scotland

Favorite Color!

No, often need all of them!

Do you have a dream art project you would like to work on?

When one of my equine portraits was selected as the image for the Hoosier Horse Fair and Expo I was thrilled. I like having my work seen/enjoyed the ‘everyday folk’ who would perhaps not walk into galleries and I’d love to find more opportunities like this. I also hope to write a second icon for my church that could be used as part of the holy season display.

Any tips for young and upcoming artists in navigating the art world, especially locally?

I don’t think I would be one to give any advise . I think artists need to do the work that is in their heart, that will show in the product and will attract their tribe. If that takes one to galleries fine but if not that’s fine as well. Being true to your own campfire is important.

How can we see more of your work?

I have lots of pieces in my home studio, and several currently at Sugar Creek Gallery in Thorntown Indiana. I have had dedicated shows at the Art Center gallery in Shelbyville and the Greenfield Bank Lobby show. I maintain a Facebook page preciouspetsinpaint where folk can watch my work and get contact information.

Related Art Projects for Kids!

We would love to see the work of all the young artists out there! Share your horse inspired crafts with us by sending a message to us on Facebook. Any work we receive will be shared on Friday.

Shoe-Print Pony
Toilet Paper Roll Horse
Dala Horse