Acrylic on Canvas
It was almost four years ago when I did my "about face". I'd always secretly considered myself an artist, but I didn't have the confidence to really make art. I used markers to make one of a kind lunch bags for my kids to take to school and I helped in other childrens' art projects, but the idea of attempting something more substantial was always overwhelming. I'd never studied art. I didn't know the difference between acrylic paints and oils. I just knew that I had this longing to create the images I'd carried around in my head all my life.
I've always loved drawing more than anything, but for whatever reason, I never felt competent enough or brave enough to share my drawings with anyone. I grew up, and although I always loved a blank piece of paper and a brand new box of crayons, the only place where I was an artist was in my fantasies.
I finished school and got married (and divorced...twice), had three fantastic kids, became a psychiatric technician, and moved all around the state before settling down right back here in Fresno, CA where I was born. I'd been working as a Assessment Specialist at the local psychiatric hospital for several years when my coworkers started noticing my doodles in the margins of my paperwork, as well as on every other scrap of paper in the office. My friend Susan would salvage through the trashcans for any of my discarded paperwork and tell me I'd be a famous artist one day. My friend Russ encouraged me to try painting some of the designs I'd drawn, and my friend Martin, a graphic artist himself, was always supportive and encouraging.
In the spring of 1998, I happened to be attending the Tower Arts Festival with my kids and we met artist Joe Vargas. Joe was very eager to talk and share his ideas with me, and he said the best way to learn is to "just do it".
I don't know exactly when it happened...if it was my friends' encouragement or if it was Joe Vargas' words, or if it was any one of the other people who have encouraged me ever since I started painting, but I've done a complete "about face". I'm doing what I've always loved to do. I've found my passion and the more I paint, the more I learn and I'm completely confident that I will keep learning and creating from now on.
Since I started painting, my art has been on display at several of the local public libraries and I've held two one-woman shows at the Tower Arts Gallery in Fresno. I won an Honorable Mention in my first juried contest. I've sold a total of 33 paintings as of this date and my art is on display in homes and offices in California, Tennessee, Florida, Canada and Scotland. I have been asked to donate works to the Central California Aids Team for their annual "Big Deal Art Sale" and I have participated in other community arts functions. I am currently working on creating more art for a third show at a future date.
I started painting in 1998 at the age of 42. I am currently working as a Psychiatric Technician at Avenal State Prison and am still active in the lives of my children. I have recently branched out in my artistic endeavor and was cast in the Children's Musical Theaterworks/Center Stage Productions' version of ANNIE. Our show was very well received and played to sold out audiences for two weeks. It has been my experience that it's never too late to follow your dreams.