I became interested in art when I was very young. My mom is an oil painter and she used to have friends over once a week to paint. I would watch them in awe and try to imitate their work. In high school, I took art classes and won a few awards, but it wasn’t until I got to Dixie College that I really decided to make art my career. I had a watercolor teacher who really encouraged me and that’s when I really grew to love painting. From there I went onto Utah State University and got my Bachelors of Science degree with an Art major and English minor.
I had always said that I would never become a teacher because my parents are both teachers and I was bound and determined to make more money than them. Once I realized how competitive the advertising art world was and how hard it would be to make it on my own as a free-lance artist, I decided to go into education after all– I would have a monthly income and insurance. It was the best decision I have ever made, and I truly love my job as an art teacher at Northridge High School. I currently teach watercolor, acrylics, drawing, and ceramics classes. My painting classes are my favorites– I enjoy watercolor and acrylics equally well.
I am very motivated by my students and probably learn more from them than they do from me. The portraits that I do in watercolor (with several children on one canvas) were an idea that came from one of my students....letting the paint drip as part of the composition came from another student. These high school kids are full of ideas and enthusiasm– they keep me motivated and wanting to produce more and more art work. One unique tradition that our NHS Art Department has going (for 20 years now) is that we have our students paint the ceiling tiles from various class rooms throughout the school. We take them down and have individual students paint scenes on these 4' X 2' tiles and then we hang them back up again when they are completed. We call it our “Sistine Chapel”. I have had people come from all over the United States and even China to view our ceiling tiles. My students have painted football players, zebras, cars, seascapes, Batman, fairies, fish, flowers, self-portraits, silhouettes, etc..... they are incredible paintings!! Last time I counted, there were over 200 painted tiles in my room alone. If they don’t meet our standards, we don’t hang them back up.
I painted 17 of the 65 life-size horses that line the historic 25th street and Washington Boulevard in Ogden throughout the summer months of the year. I painted horses for the following sponsors: Dinosaur Park (teeth-baring, scary, realistic dinosaurs), Ogden Regional Medical Center (healthy people snowboarding, running, hiking), Ogden Chamber of Commerce (Indians, pioneers, astronauts), Hill Air Force Base (F-16s, aA-10 bombers, Thunderbirds), Standard Examiner Newspaper (vintage delivery boys, modern day people reading the newspaper on lap tops/ cell phones), and the American Dream Foundation ( U.S. Presidents, flags, eagles, fireworks). It was an amazing experience! My students painted 10 horses and I helped all of them with their art work, too. It was a huge project for about 6 months!
I have shown/sold my art work in numerous galleries throughout the state of Utah and others – Eccles Art Center, Bountiful Davis Art Center, Syracuse City Building/Art Museum, the Art Stop, Santa Clara Historical Museum, and many more.
As for my personal life, I was married for 13 years and have now been divorced for the past 14 years- recently remarried to a fabulous man who supports my art and loves my children 110%! . My four children are very involved in all kinds of sport and lessons– I spend most of my time running them around and/or watching their games, track meets, volleyball tournaments, etc. I do most of my art work early, early in the morning or stay after school when I can. In addition, I paint lots of murals in homes, restaurants, museums, and other places every other weekend when my children are with their father. I also make 4 foot clocks and paint portraits of peoples’ kids and grandkids. These side jobs have turned into quite a business and I have met so many wonderful people—painting for them! I get so much satisfaction from seeing my clients’ reactions to my paintings of their loved ones. They often tear up and hug me. I am blessed.
My “non-art” hobbies include waterskiing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, hiking, biking, running, swimming, home-decorating, playing the piano, and many more. I love life and people are always telling me that I have a lot more energy than the average person. I have a strong desire to get better and better at painting– an artist never really “arrives”…. although it gets easier and faster. Each piece presents a new challenge.