I loved to draw and paint as a child and began doing pencil portraits (and teacher caricatures) as a teenager. My first oil portrait was of my father prior to his death from cancer when I was 19. Painting in oils always fascinated me after hearing tales and seeing the works of my grandmother Helen Clayton, a farmer’s wife who raised five boys, sewed extraordinary quilts and was a talented oil painter as well. A treasured childhood memory is that of my father teaching me some of my grandmother’s techniques such as enlarging images with a grid and how to create form by varying the values of a drawing.
My career choice was impacted by my father’s death and I became a physician, only returning to painting in 1997 when I began to take portrait, landscape and color theory classes at the Gage Academy of Fine Art. After two years of trying to balance my infatuation with art with the demands of a community clinic physician’s practice, I was fortunate enough to be able to follow my passion and I began to paint in earnest. At the Academy I studied under Juliette Aristides, Mitch Albala, Tony Ryder, Charles Emerson, Geoffrey Lawrence, John Morra, Thomas Loepp, and others. At the Scottsdale Art School I studied with Peggy Kroll-Roberts and Kim English. I learned to understand the power of the temperature of the light in a landscape and how this can be portrayed by the color of the underpainting at the Cape Cod School of Art. . More recently I have studied with Ray Roberts and Matt Smith to increase my comfort with plein air painting.
I paint in styles varying from extremely traditional oil portraits to lively figurative works and light/temperature based plein-air landscapes. The impact of the first brush strokes and/or underpainting on the final outcome continues to fascinate me and the challenge to see beyond the obvious is a constant stimulus for growth.
For the last SIX years, my friend Janice Kirstein and I have been teaching an on-going oil painting class in my home studio and the process of instructing our great students has taught me as much or more than all my previous classes combined!!
I reside in Seattle and am grateful to have the opportunity to experience a second career seeing life through the eyes of an artist, something that almost passed me by.