My very best friend was an artist and, because of her, I paint today. I began
painting shortly after Claire's death in 2000. It's amazing how a single
person has completely changed the direction of my life.
I've always loved the beauty of nature; I've had an eye and appreciation for
color and love photography, but my profession was teaching. I taught
elementary and middle school, including gifted programs for 28 years. Just
before retirement, my husband's job took us to Pakistan to live and then to
Taiwan. While living in these locations, I came to really appreciate the
beauty of the land, the people, and their culture. I took hundreds of pictures
and have used those as subjects for my paintings. I continued teaching in
Pakistan. I had a free school in my home where I taught local children. I
hope to paint portraits from the many pictures I've taken of these children
who became my family.
In Taiwan, I became the student. I studied watercolor under two different
instructors. Chia-Jwu Tai taught art at Chung Yien Christian University
and National Taipei College of Nursing. Ji Shan Harkiewicz is an award
winning artist and exhibits her work throughout the United States and Asia.
When I returned to America, I accepted a teaching position and continued
with my art studies. My first art instructor here was Elizabeth Sparks.
Elizabeth encouraged me to work with oil as well as watercolor. Since
retirement I have devoted all of my time to improving my art. My work is
varied. I love to try something I haven't done before just to prove to myself
that I can do it. I continued my studies under Frank Murphy, a renowned
I have been a gallery artist at RACA, (Rome Area Council for the Arts) and
several of my works were displayed there. I have also exhibited for
"Bloom" and "Art on Broad."
Seven years ago, I moved to the Dallas, Texas area to be near my grandson.
I had gifted my grandson with fossils, minerals, and gemstones in an effort
to help him appreciate the beauty of all that is natural. After three cabinets
were filled, we decided that the collection had become large enough, but my
love for what is found in nature had only increased. Thus, I began my most
recent art endeavors. I now create pendants and necklaces using these same
rocks, minerals, fossils, and gemstones. I create a very distinctive and
unique look using my signature larger bail, with gold and silver filled
wrapped wire. My jewelry items have
a look that is both elegant and a bit overstated.
I work with what I love. I can't imagine creating any other way. Whether
it's a landsape that captivates my attention, a single blossom in my garden,
or my sleeping grandson, each painting is a reflection of the emotion that I
feel and each pendant is something that I find beautiful when completed.