Living the last 34 years in Maine between the White Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean has been a gift. Each day, I look out my kitchen window at a pond crowned with tall pines by the edge of a forest where there is a world of grandeur with bear, deer, and moose. Family hikes are a way for me to catch glimpses of distant mountain views, and drives to the coast fulfill my desire to breathe the salty air and study the Atlantic horizon. The natural Northern New England landscapes and seascapes inspire me to bring these experiences to you who long for something serene.
When I was 9 years old, my mother mentored me in painting, then, I learned water color techniques from a local Maine artist, Cal Wilson. Later, at York County Community College, I was taught by professional artists, Jill Poyourow who also taught at California Institute of the Arts, and Heather Lewis, a graduate of Philadelphia School of Art. Lewis is the daughter of professional artist parents, Dorothy and Jack Lewis of Delaware. Jack Lewis, well known, was friends with NC Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and summer resident of Maine. Through our professional relationship, Heather has gifted me with a treasured lineal wealth of knowledge.
Until age 8, most of my days were spent outside in the Connecticut woods, and during those days of exploration such as target shooting without supervision, I developed a deep appreciation for nature. I climbed trees and caressed the soft ridges of bark with my cheeks, sat on cool damp moss beds and played with crayfish in a rusty culvert under the road by Keegan’s pond. That is where I strained fish eggs between my fingers and sought water moccasins. I killed many minnows trying to feed them canned corn from the neighbor’s cupboard, but saw new life when a cow named, Bossy, gave birth to Chuck in the basement.
On sunny days, I recall lying in the grass and watching gliders detach from their lead planes. I was squinting to see the rope whip through the air, and then, I would watch the glider disappear over the fluffy green tree line. It was a private peaceful place until a pack of wild dogs ate the belly out of a nearby pony. After that, I never left the yard.
At age 11, my family moved to the Maine woods. I was shocked by isolation that first long hot summer. Regularly, we saw moose staring back at us from between the trees. Unexpectedly, 2 cats emerged from the forest. Over time, while the cats nursed their litters in the shed, I lugged buckets of sparkling mica from an abandoned silver mine over rough terrain to our basement. Upstairs, I danced to Quiet Riot and learned the moon walk. One could say they were distractions from my artistic endeavors, but I say these experiences have molded my creative vision.
Many memories of those teen years have been intentionally entombed in the dark hole of my past, but much of high school on the coast is still vivid. Every morning, getting on that bus was like climbing out of a coal mine into the brilliant sun. The salty air was fresh, and on rte 1, the colorful license plates and flashing brake lights were like fine jewelry. The days always ended with me back in the thick Maine woods. At home, on my bed, I spent many hours drawing people from the yearbook, but most portraits were religious figures. Certain, I was trying to amend my opposing disposition ;).
For as long as I could remember, I dreamed of getting married and having children. One day, at my friend’s house, I caught a whiff of fresh sawdust wafting from her older brother’s flannel shirt. He was the 1. We have been married 25 years, and during these years, as happy as I have been, an energy was building up inside me that, finally, I could not ignore. Now, a professional artist, I paint this beautiful world with passion and want to share it with everyone. It’s in my nature.