Inspired by beauty in the landscape, I seek a bold yet quiet impression of everyday nature — as the colors of sky, earth and water converge on the horizon.
I grew up in Tabor City, a small town in southeastern North Carolina, 33 miles from the coast. My rural public school system offered no art instruction, so as a kid who loved to color and draw I had to create my own artist's path. Discouraged from pursuing art in college for something more practical, I attended NC State's School of Design. There I thrived studying design as well as taking classes in drawing, photography and art history. After graduation I worked as a graphic designer for more than 25 years, with jobs in Michigan and Boston, plus 17 years as a freelancer in Raleigh. Around 2003 I began taking art workshops to learn oil painting and in 2007 I retired from design to become a full-time artist. With commitment and much practice I'm now fulfilling a dream of my childhood!
The Raleigh area is my primary home but I also spend much time at Sunset Beach, a cherished place near my hometown where I feel a strong connection. I've recently learned my ancestors helped settle this coastal region — where North Carolina meets South Carolina. The natural beauty here is fragile — threatened by overdevelopment, population growth and global warming — but it still feeds my spirit. As I watch the sunsets, walk the beach and kayak the marsh, I find inspiration for my coastal landscape paintings. I find peace and solace in interpreting this environment through my art — it is my passion and my way of expressing love and respect for our earth.
Unspoiled, desolate beaches were the norm before cars, high-rise bridges, condos and homes packed the ocean-sides with people. When I paint I feel I'm recreating scenes from long ago — rare and endangered landscapes with nothing man-made imposing on the view. Only through my imagination are most of my paintings possible. I hope I'll always find inspiration in the world we have now.
The landscape is not just what I focus on with my paintings. The sky and clouds can be dominant in my compositions and I challenge myself to depict them realistically — in a unique way. I get a serenity from looking up at the sky and I’m inspired to express this in my art. Sometimes it feels like I’m painting clouds over and over again, but as I do, I know I’m honing my skills. With so much artistic license allowed, it’s fun to work at getting something both ethereal and ephemeral!
I hope my scenes of inlet waters winding to the ocean or those with large clouds on the horizon are a calming influence on the viewer. As a North Carolina landscape artist, I have a love for my state's barrier islands— but not just for their sandy beaches. To me, relaxing and soothing to view are their tidal, salt marshes separating the islands from the mainland. I find them especially inspiring in mid-summer, when the marsh grass turns brilliant yellow-green. I feature this chartreuse-like color in many of my marsh paintings, combined with varying colors in the sky and water.
I hope my art connects with people and evokes fond memories of a family beach vacation. Families have traditions around their annual week at the beach — they rent the same cottage the same summer week at the same coastal community for years and years. Some say my art takes them back to special times and places — a reminder of being carefree and relaxed.
I love to paint the wetlands, where the water rises and falls with the tides. I pay homage to the fragile yet resilient marsh ecosystem of the barrier islands. The marsh provides habitat for fish and birds, it buffers the mainland from storm surges, filters downstream pollution and is a place of inspiring beauty.
As a way of giving back to my community, I have donated many paintings over the years. Some of the non-profits I've supported include Raleigh's Artspace and Visual Art Exchange, Cary Visual Art, Alzheimer's Association of Eastern NC, Veteran's Project Coming Home, Habitat for Humanity-Orange County, The North Carolina Museum of Art, Wake County SPCA, NCSU Vet School, Cary Academy, Durham Academy, Hospice of Wake County, Durham Art Guild, Prevent Child Abuse NC, Raleigh's Alley Cats Feline Rescue Group and UNC Children’s Hospital.
-Ongoing: The Great American Paint In, curated online art gallery inspired by the pandemic, featuring artists' unique stories and their art for sale online
-Mutual Aid Art Auction, online auction benefitting artists and the organization, ended March 24, hosted by the Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
-Juried Live Auction Artist, March 7, Visual Art Exchange Annual Gala, Raleigh, NC
-Anything Goes 2019 opening October 4, Litmus Gallery, 312 W. Cabarrus St, Raleigh, NC - winner BEST IN SHOW
-Curated auction artist, Boots and Blues, Cary Visual Art gala fundraiser, March 30, Cary, NC
-Juried Live Auction Artist, February 16, VAE Annual Gala, Raleigh, NC
-Juried Live Auction Artist, November 17, Collectors Gala, Artspace, Raleigh, NC
-Painting Demonstration, June 16, 11-2 pm, Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash, NC
-Coastal Moods, opening reception May 19, 3-5 pm, Little Art Gallery, Cameron Village, Raleigh
-c o a s t s c a p e s, February-April, Liquid State, 1908 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC
-Juried Live Auction Artist, For the Love of Art Gala, Visual Art Exchange, February 10, Downtown Raleigh Marriott
-Juried Live Auction Artist, November 18, Collectors Gala, Artspace, Raleigh, NC
-Affordable Art Fair NYC, UGallery artist, September 13-17, 2017
-Corridor Gallery featured artist, August-October 2017, Artspace, Raleigh, NC
-Cloudspotting, April-July 2017, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
-Art Ball Gala, February 11, Cary Visual Art, NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
-Juried Live Auction Artist, November 19, Collectors Gala, Artspace, Raleigh, NC
-Guest solo exhibition, February 26- March 22, Cary Gallery of Artists, Cary, NC
-For the Love of Art Gala, Featured Artist, February 20, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
-Corridor Gallery featured artist, December 2015-February 2016, Artspace, Raleigh, NC
-Community Exchange Exhibit, August-October, AJ Fletcher Foundation, Raleigh, NC
-Colorscapes, solo exhibition, Little Art Gallery, Cameron Village, Raleigh, NC
-59th Annual Member Show and SCAPES juried, Durham Art Guild, Durham, NC
-Featured artist, August-September, Little Art Gallery, Cameron Village, Raleigh, NC
-Landscapes Reinterpreted, 2-artist exhibition, Town Hall Gallery, Cary, NC
-Scope: The NC Landscape, juried, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
-Coastal Color, solo exhibition, Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash, NC
-Art of the Auction, juried donor, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
-Emulous, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
-For the Love of Art, juried donor, -The Road Show, 2nd Place, -Exchange Gallery Artist, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
-Here & There, solo exhibition, Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash, NC
-Saving the Places You Love, invitational exhibit, Mahler Fine Art, Raleigh, NC
-Landscapes, etc., solo exhibition, Jordan Hall Arts Center, Cary, NC
-Picture This, Prevent Child Abuse NC art gala, Raleigh, NC
-Emulous and -Scope: The NC Landscape, juried, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
-Carolina Color, Junior League sponsored exhibition, Raleigh, NC
-n.e.w. show and -Travel Scenes, juried, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
My art news features new paintings, event announcements, special Art Shop coupons and sharing what inspires me.