Archie Comic Books was my first challenge in portraiture. Drawing people was entertaining as a child and have continued throughout my life. My goal has always been to capture a good likeness but also the dignity, depth and spirit of my subject. The guiding principle is portraits will be in a family for generations to come and, therefore; my work will hopefully be cherished beyond my lifetime. Landscape painting is more relaxing. I like to paint from locations where I traveled. It is inspiring to live the moment again.
I attended the “John McCrady Art School” in the French Quarter for two years. Everyday in the French Quarter was a completely diverse encounter. The artists in my classes were inimitable and the people on the street were enchanting characters to captivate on canvas. I was truly sorry when the school closed. It seemed that this was the only art school available outside of a college curriculum. A new school had recently opened up for artists and I applied to the “New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts” on Magazine Street. It was an excellent school and stayed there for almost 4 years. The instructors were trained from schools such as the famous Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; bringing their expertise to us was fantastic.
My inspiration came from American Artist Mary Cassett (1844-1926). Mary was a magnificent portrait artist and was in the same venue as Degas, Pissarro and Monet. She moved to Paris and became good friends with Edgar Degas. He had a great influence on her work. The impressionist movement must have been an amazing time. I wish that I could have been there when these skillful artists became notable in the art world.
I copied many of her works and still treasure them after 30 years. I will never forget the first time I saw her paintings. I knew that was how I wanted to paint. When finally got to see her work in the Smithsonian I cried; to be in the presence of her magnificent artwork was humbling.
I found it difficult to concentrate on my talents over the years — marriage, a child, and a business to help run with my husband hampered my work as an artist. I did paint as often as I could; however, I knew that it was not enough to grow and progress. Retiring from the business world; I have made the commitment to paint often. I am fortunate to have the talent and training to paint and move forward at this time of my life.