A Long and Winding Road

Growing up being the shadow of a “maker” Dad, I observed. A lot. Watching and learning as he taught himself how to do most anything from working with stained glass to wood carving to furniture making. Somewhere along the way I somehow lost this part of myself… 

Until one day, as the mother of two small boys, I became a person who needed to find herself again.

I picked up a pencil to draw out an idea I had in my head – and it worked! I actually forgot or didn’t even know that I could draw. To be completely honest, there was a very long period of time (read: years) that I attributed my drawing ability to… THAT PENCIL. It’s so ridiculous to admit this!

Anyhow, I turned my simple pencil drawings into reclaimed wood and upcycled wall mosaics. I sold a few pieces, made art for friends and family, and then took a big, huge leap out of my comfort zone and began applying to juried art shows. And a crazy thing happened – I kept getting accepted!

In the meantime, those two sweet little boys who swam in the river all summer and chased snow all winter in the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania did just what little boys are supposed to do, they grew up.

Then life threw my sweet little family a curveball that led us on the adventure of a lifetime and landed us on the other end of the rainbow right in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado.

Arriving here somewhat lost and broken, building my art biz back up from scratch was not on the short list of things I had the time and energy for. It was time for me to pick myself up by my bootstraps, grow up, be responsible, and get a REAL JOB. So I got my real estate license.

Anyone who knows me well could easily see that I was the square peg trying to fit into the round hole, but it gave it a go.

My husband clearly witnessed my struggles and probably saw the light slowly diminishing from my eyes when in 2019 he pretty much demanded that I rent a commercial space and pursue my dream of being an artist and operating a local art collective.

So then Covid… and then a shift in plans… and then some burnout & another leap of faith, and shift in plans brings me to this very space in time. My little collective features the work of 25 local artists – including me!

The past few years have been all about figuring out how to open and stay in business in a world gone mad. Along the way, I’ve found my people again, I’ve found my art, am learning and growing daily with the support and love of my family and fellow artists. 

As for my process, I begin each piece by setting an intention, calling the energy in that I want the piece to hold.

The first layer of paint is words, symbols, oftentimes sacred reiki healing symbols, spirals, scribbles, whatever I am guided to add is painted on the canvas. 

Step two involves covering the entire canvas with paint. The goal is to get rid of the white! Nothing is more intimidating than a white canvas…

Now that the intention is set and the canvas is wildly colorful in a haphazard way, it is time to lay down the sketch. My dear friend Lori says this is the most important part of the painting journey, because the painting is only as good as the sketch, and I couldn’t agree more. This is sometimes a painstaking process for me, and it is ALWAYS when my ego shows up to say, “who do you think you are trying to be an artist?”.

But here’s the thing, a sketch is just a bunch of simple shapes that together create an image, and as long as I keep that in mind, I can keep that freaking ego in check.

Adding the highlights, shadows and midtones with layer after layer of paint is the fun part and results in building a relationship with each painting to ensure the proper message and energy is coming through. This step can take anywhere from hours to weeks.

Finishing up a painting with some bold paint strokes and splatters always brings just the slightest moment of hesitation and doubt that I might “ruin” the whole thing.

Funny thing, this is always where the magic happens.

The result is the artwork of my life.

Thank you for being on this journey with me, I can’t wait to see what happens next!




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