My paintings are inspired by the beauty of the St. Lawrence River, Thousand Islands, Clayton, N.Y. where I’ve spent a large part of my life. Currently living on Grindstone Island I am awed everyday by the river’s scenery, large ships of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and spectacular sunsets and sunrises.
My first painting was when I was in high school. My art teacher taught me just enough to get started. She wanted to enter my still life in a contest however being young I procrastinated and was too late to enter the contest. My life quickly became consumed with all the activities of a young adult with children and going to college. I am now retired from the healthcare field.
In the year 2000 I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. Surprisingly not in painting but in Multimedia Development. I took some courses in drawing, photography and design but no painting classes.
It wasn't until 2014 when I was inspired by a local art student at R.I.T. in Rochester. She was painting over water stained areas on my mother’s 50 year old wall paper. This inspired me to pick up a brush and start painting a picture I had of an island in the Saint Lawrence River. To my surprise I was told by my friends my picture was impressive. I continued to paint and taught myself via some books and videos to paint with acrylic.
From that point on I’ve painted about 6-8 paintings each year, only two of which have been oil. I’ve chosen acrylic due to its fast drying ability and the ease of painting over something I want to change.
I am presently painting in our log house on Grindstone Island. I have so many inspirations from growing up on the river and raising two boys on Grindstone Island I often have a hard time decided what to paint! I also get inspiration from a childhood friend Steve McMahon. A very accomplished wildlife photographer.
I’m a good example of finding a hidden talent later in life. It definitely was a surprise to me. I hope this encourages people to try new things and go with your instinct try something new! You never know.