I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I became interested in drawing as a child after an art teacher bestowed accolades upon me for a portrait I had drawn of him. The teacher sat in a chair before us, and we drew from life. I continued to foster my new-found skill and no one escaped my pleas for sittings. At that young age, I had already decided that I preferred to work from life as opposed to photographs. Although I loved drawing, it was more of a hobby than a possible profession, and when it came time to go to college, I started as a pre-med student at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. For electives, I took drawing classes. It was apparent that I excelled at art over organic chemistry. After two years, I switched schools and began majoring in filmmaking with a minor in photojournalism at the University of Miami. I graduated with honors, with a BFA in Communications and worked in the film business producing TV commercials for several years. I got married and had a son before moving back to Nashville in 1994. There, I took up painting full-time.
I studied painting with a variety of teachers through classes and workshops around the country, but found main inspiration from the more classical artists. I have been influenced by the artwork and philosophy of the great American artist, Thomas Hart Benton, having become acquainted with his work through three of his accomplished students, in particular, William F. Kautzman.
In 1997, I began to teach painting and drawing classes as well as workshops at Cheekwood’s Frist Learning Center in Nashville. I also produced workshops with nationally known artists. At the same time, I began serving on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Art League and became the President of the organization in 2000. I served for only one year before my family and I moved to Thousand Oaks, California.
I taught for 7 years at the California Art Institute in Westlake Village, CA. I also taught childrens’ fine art classes out of my studio at the time before moving to Dubuque, Iowa in 2012. I currently teach painting and drawing at the Dubuque Museum of Art.