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I live a life full of art. Taking dance classes throughout childhood, drawing on the walls, and building my portfolio since high school, all brought me to where I am today; A stay at home mom, full time artist, and illustrator. I have lived in Northeast Ohio all my life, travelled the globe. To learn my life story, feel free to read on...
My life always included art. What began as ballet class for five year olds, and intricate pencil drawings on the walls at home, became a passion and a lifestyle by high school. In 9th grade I entered Irene Sukle's art room, completely unaware of the impact she would have on me. Ms. Sukle blended professional level instruction with the freedom of play. She was a major source of encouragement and she tolerated zero BS. Effectively creating the perfect atmosphere for a rebellious teenager to explore her inner artist.
During that productive and adventurous time, I was introduced to media from pencil to ink, printmaking to silkscreening, oil paint to watercolor, ceramics to pottery and everything in between. Ms. Sukle held nothing back from her students, and I was creating work like crazy. She wanted me to pursue the arts further and wrote me a very touching recommendation letter. I was accepted to Wright State University upon graduation.
Entering the university in the Fall of '08, I quickly learned that not all art teachers are created equal. The program taught very basic and restrictive techniques which choked my creative expression and completely drained my bank account. Back home, Ms. Sukle lost her battle with cancer in October 2008. Losing her at that time pointed me to the realization that my art journey was not meant to continue at this university. After my first year of studies, I did not return in the Fall of 2009.
I came home and found work within the restaurant industry. I made a point to learn what I could from friends attending art colleges in places like Cleveland and New York, and dove back into my own art from home. I needed to remember and honor all the tools and techniques given to me by Ms. Sukle.
2011-2014 were years full of inspiration and exciting journeys to visit friends in South Africa, Korea, Chile, and Peru. I explored via backpack, bus, plane and boat to see what this world had to offer. From the Maribou Storks of South Africa, to the food and lifestyle of South Korea, and eventually a 4 month break from life to visit South America, I gathered memories, treasures and photos to inspire my work. I made a point to visit some special spots in the Continental US as well, like Colorado, New York and South Carolina.
Settling back home in Chesterland, Ohio, I revisited familiar places from my childhood. The woods behind my house where the hemlocks surround the shale and sandstone creek, I had always sort of known, but never noticed just how beautiful and cool the rock outcroppings were. This appreciation led to the series, "Paradise". The technique with which I began painting in oils has spilled into other observational work such as the Glass Galaxy series and various geological studies from my travels.
In 2017 I gave birth to my son, Porter James, at home in our hot tub. It was the most transformative, empowering and wholly physiological experience in my life. My life shifted into stay-at-home-mom, work-from-home-artist, and renewed my values of community. During this time I illustrated the book series, "Inspired Birth- Affirmations for the Childbearing Year" written by Jenna Hull. Jenna paired her wisdom and faith in the birthing woman through words of encouragement and affirmation with my watercolor flowers. We have continued to expand the series to include a self-narrated audiobook, a deck of cards, and a digital download of coloring cards. You can learn more about it on our Instagram @inspiredbirthbook
My journey continues towards new oil paintings, wider subject matters connecting people with nature. I am constantly fulfilling commissions and finding ways to showcase my work locally. The "Glass Galaxy" trio has been on exhibition at the International Cleveland-Hopkins Airport this year, and more shows are happening soon. Please subscribe to my newsletter, follow my social media, and journey along on this beautiful adventure called life.
Thank you for reading.
My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" withThe Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.
The natural world is a huge inspiration for me. I love to spend time outside looking closely at the vast array of colors and forms within nature.
I prefer to paint in oils or watercolor from photographs I have taken of my subjects and scenes. By closely observing details and color within my compositions, I often paint from the top of the canvas down, much like a printer does.
Highlights in my career include running the gallery of a prominent glass-blowing studio in Northeast Ohio. And having my oil paintings showcased at the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport in 2020.
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