As an artist, I’ve always aimed to blend Impressionism with Classical Realism, especially when drawing and painting the human form, which is my favorite subject. I feel this balance between styles is best shown in my ability to capture the form and in my use of light and shadow.
I like to think I was born to be an artist, growing up in an artistic family where watercolor, ceramics, and oil painting all cropped up in various branches. So when it came time to earn my degree, what better fit than Art History and Studio Art magna cum laude degrees from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA? (Go, Monarchs!)
It was earning my degrees that exposed me to all sorts of artists and I felt a visceral attraction to the works of John Singer Sargent who I felt mastered that perfect blend of realism and impressionism. I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel, so visiting major museums in New York City, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Rome, and Florence continued to open my eyes to the sheer variety and stunning talent of artists throughout modern history. It was through this continuing education and my own hunger for beautiful art that I discovered artists such as Nicolai Fechin, Anders Zorn, and Joaquin Sorolla. I’m inspired by artists as far back as Hans Holbein the younger and those still living today such as Zhaoming Wu.
As I’ve delved into painting, I’ve observed how important solid drawing skills are to creating an excellent painting. It’s this opinion, which only grew stronger as I observed more paintings by more artists, that motivated me to create my online drawing course, “Drawing Secrets Revealed.” I built on my own college art education to make it on the comprehensive and academically rigorous level of college drawing courses. But I laid it out in an organized, step-by-step way that even a completely beginner would be able to manage it.
Since 2012, I’ve partnered with Artists Network University, a subsidiary of F+W Media, to teach my “Drawing Secrets Revealed” course with them as one of their online art instructors. This has been a tremendously rewarding experience where I have been able to actively help my students achieve their drawing goals and continue to improve my course.
In 2013, I was contracted by North Light Books, another subsidiary of F+W Media, to write a drawing instruction book based on my “Drawing Secrets Revealed” series. It will be published and available for sale in mid-2014.
Early in 2014, I will also be producing three instructional DVDs with ArtistsNetwork.tv, yet another F+W Media company, which will focus on my passion: the human face and form.
And while education and teaching has become a real joy for me, I will of course continue my painting journey as I remain so inspired by so many of my fellow artists. I’ve been a member for some years of Oil Painters of America, Portrait Society of America, and the American Society of Portrait Artists and have had many terrific opportunities to participate in contests and exhibitions both group and solo. My charcoal drawing, “The Shawl,” was one of only 30 out of 1,100 entries juried into the American Woman Artist Association Exhibit in Pasadena, CA. I have been so blessed to devote so much of my life to my heart’s desire and I’m excited to see what unfolds in the future!