I started working part-time in a local arts and crafts shop which allowed me lots of artistic experiences. When my boss wanted to start offering classes, he sent me to some workshops to be sure our classes were well done. I was given the responsibility for the classes and at the beginning, between the workshops and decorative painting books, I was sometimes only two or three steps ahead of my students. Since 1975 I have actively taught decorative and canvas painting.
In 1982, I took a class from Sue Scheewe. This was the turning point when she asked me to join her team of instructors and become one of her National Staff Teachers. I go to Portland for 10 days to 2 weeks twice a year with the other instructors to work through pieces from the latest books. It was, and still is,
a priceless experience. This began my travel teaching and Sue has given me such a wonderful sense of confidence and accomplishment. I especially enjoy working in landscapes, florals and seascapes. I am a member of the Society of Decorative Painters, a charter member of the Tidewater Chapter, SDP, and an honorary member of several other SDP chapters.
In addition to my painting and teaching, I was in partnership with my daughter, Kristie, when we developed a home based business of selling hand painted items to nurseries and gift shops when our first grand child was born. We named the business Gran's Garden and, at Sue's suggestion, we adapted some of the designs and based my first book on them. I now have 17 published books,
the latest being Gran's Flower Garden, and four videos in the Gran's series with my newest book just released in Spring 2006.
My personal advise to all painters is to get in there and paint. The more often the better. Everything need not be perfect. You can always paint it again and again. Paint for yourself. It's supposed to be fun!