In my last blog post, I shared a bit about who I am and my passion for art but it left many asking, “How did she become this successful artist and a leader in her field?”
Those who know me well would say I always had a strong drive for art. So it was no surprise to them that I landed a job as a studio hand in my teens. That opened my eyes to the possibility of a future career doing what I loved… art!
From that point on, I did everything from painting rocks and drawing caricatures to sign painting. Although fun, none of it gave me the creative passion or the type of income I needed to quit tending bar. In 1990, with a husband and child now in the picture, I discovered faux finishes which changed my life forever! I took a leap of faith, quit the bartending gig and started my faux finish business. It didn’t take long to built a solid resume with an impressive list of great clients and prestigious projects. I knew I had made a name when I found myself supervising a crew of 10-12 people working on faux finishing the entire exterior of the world’s largest Harley Davidson dealership in Ormond Beach, Florida.
Now, after almost 30 years as a faux finish artist, the long-term effects of climbing ladders and painting overhead and trawling plasters have forced me to think about transitioning into more fine art. With a “crew” of just a few loyal assistants, I jokingly tell them, “I need you more to help me up off the floor, lift the heavy buckets, or the most important job – keeping track of my phone or coffee cup, than for your artistic talents.”
2018 has become the year of transition. I decided to embark on my last big hoorah in faux finishing and large projects while working my way into fine art. Several years ago, I started painting dog portraits from Facebook photos posted by Dogtona Beach Pet Resort (where my pup, Maui, attends daycare when needed). The response was overwhelming and allows me to be inspired by animals while creating custom portraits for their human companions. But there’s more! I’ve been dabbling in encaustic wax, cold wax, and other mixed media art. With all that in my creative arsenal… thinking it couldn’t possibly get any better… I discovered never ending inspiration in my newest passion – alcohol inks! I cannot get enough working in this medium because like myself, the inks are fast paced and have a mind of their own. The colors change and make shapes that take on a life of their own leaving me to make something out of what they give.