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A childhood surrounded by nature
often provides the building blocks for future wildlife artists. It helps create a reverence for the earth’s
tremendous and amazing variety of life forms.
Growing up on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, I spent my childhood
exploring the woodlands, marshes, and ponds of the Indiana Dunes. Many happy hours were spent scouring the
dunes and their ponds for frogs, tadpoles, turtles, toads, and salamanders. My mother did not learn to drive until I was
in 8th grade, but once she got rolling, she boldly took her kids
camping each summer, across the U.S. and Canada. That early exposure to so many different
types of habitats and wildlife, helped to further instill my love of nature and
I began drawing animals quite early, and then true serendipity stepped
in, bringing horses into my life during my early teen years and giving greater
access to wild areas where few people venture.
Like most children, I loved animals- especially wild ones, and each
fleeting encounter left a hauntingly beautiful image etched in my mind. Even now, they rattle around for years,
waiting to come back to life in the form of a sculpture or painting. As an adult, I find that all of the fieldwork
and research that goes into being able to accurately recreate those moments, continues
to stoke my creative fires. It
rejuvenates my spirit and reconnects my soul to all that has come before and
all that I hope will continue long after.
While always “creating” in one form or another, actual fine art came
into my life with a plein aire oil painting class in Santa Cruz, California,
while pregnant with my first baby. What
a time to discover your life’s true passion!
Since then, life’s adventure has taken me from the giant redwoods and
ocean of California, to the Hill Country of Texas, the remote mountains of
western North Carolina, the piedmont of Virginia, the beautiful wooded hills of
south-central Indiana, the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri, leading me finally
to wildlife-rich Colorado!
I spent 3 years working with biologists from the Virginia Department of
Game and Inland Fisheries, and since then, travels have taken me across the
length and breadth of North America several times in search of wildlife- from
Washington State to Florida, Prince Edward Island to Arizona and California. Even Australia and China- my first world
While it is possible that some “down-under” creatures could eventually pop
up in my work, my primary focus has always been our North American wildlife. So when the opportunity of a lifetime came up
- a 10-week camping travel throughout the wonders of Alaska - you can believe I
took it! We can experience many of the
same wildlife species down in the “lower 48,” but when you add in the sheer
grandeur and scope that is Alaska... well, words are hardly good enough.
Life on our delicate little blue planet is an extremely complex web - interconnected and interdependent – and its threads something we still understand so little about. It is the remnants of all time before, and the fragile promise of all that may come after. Given the proper stewardship, the earth possesses a remarkable ability to replenish and heal itself. Art serves to remind us to stop, brush off the dust of our everyday lives, and appreciate the remarkable beauty that surrounds us. My mission with all of my work is to share some of my own unique and personal wildlife experiences with you, and hopefully bring both a sense of wonder to your heart and a smile to your face. Living with wildlife art in your home and office offers a lasting daily connection to the natural world. My collectors tell me it continually brightens their days. And if it encourages even a momentary pause in our busy lives - to marvel at nature’s exquisite beauty, its intricacies of form, and how that life in all its variety relates to survival for each species, including us - then I have done my job!
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Thank you for sharing part of your day with me! I hope you are enjoying my blog post writings and photos! I would truly love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for my posts, as well as possible locations and topics (art, wildlife, photography, etc.) that you would like to see covered in future posts!
(And PS - If you ARE getting some fun from the reading and photos, please help me widen my reach by sharing this post you are enjoying with your friends and family!)
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