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 classical artists. However, I have also been influenced by the artwork and philosophy of the great American artist, Thomas Hart Benton. I was introduced to the work of Benton 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 before moving to Dubuque, Iowa in 2012. I currently teach painting and drawing at the Studio Works, in Dubuque.