One of my favorite places is my mother’s patio, and “Patio Still Life” reflects the combination of her green thumb and her eye for beautiful furniture and interesting setabouts. I particularly like this painting because of its variety of textures and colors — and because it reminds me of my mother.
I paint because I enjoy the process of painting — and sometimes, the results as well. I only began painting in watercolor in 2016 and initially, I was terrified to put my brush to paper because I feared failure and believed there was no recovery from watercolor mistakes.
After several years of painting and numerous mistakes (some of which could actually be corrected), I have learned some things. First, it’s only a piece of paper, so nothing is really lost if I am unhappy with the result. Second, as I improve as a painter, my expectations increase as well; thus, all of my paintings contain elements I like and others that I wish I had done better.
Most importantly, though, I have learned that painting always makes me happy, and I feel lucky to now have the time to pursue this interest.
I have always loved art. I grew up surrounded by art and artists, and I was encouraged to pursue my artistic interests from an early age. Although I was not an art major at Duke University, I was fortunate to be able to take sixteen hours of studio art from excellent instructors before going on to complete my M.Ed. at the University of Virginia.
For the next four decades, I focused on my teaching career and raising a family and almost never painted. However, I still included art in my life, visiting museums whenever and wherever I could and incorporating art history into my history curriculum.
After retiring in 2016, I signed up for a watercolor class and have since studied with Purnell Pettyjohn, Solly Blank, Ted Nuttall, Steve Rogers, and Vladislav Yeliseyev. My greatest inspiration, though, comes from the late Charles Reid, whose instructional videos and books guide me on a regular basis.