Q: What started it all for you? How did you get into the arts?
A: I have always experimented with different crafts but when I retired, I took classes and just fell in love with painting. For me it’s realism, not abstract, which I fell in love with. The whole process, the details, it’s almost meditative to sit at the easel. Transferring that to canvas is relaxing and so satisfying when you get the result you want. I’ve been painting now for 6 years.
Q. Tell me about your creative process. How do you approach new projects?
A. I always start with a photograph I like, but the more I paint the less I rely on the image. I just start with that and work intuitively until I get the composition and colors I want. I plan the composition on the canvas first using a grid and then I slowly add color. I usually start with green because I make so many landscapes! Then I refine it, spending a few hours here and there to add the finest details. My favorite part of the whole process is adding all the details, even down to the smallest blade of grass.
Q. Who and/or what are your biggest inspirations and how do they influence your work?
A. Adele Castillo, who teaches at Crossroads, is a big inspiration. I always thought I needed to switch to oil but she uses acrylic. Because of her I think I add pink to every painting! Linda Hollett-Bazouzi, also at Crossroads, is a big inspiration because her landscapes are incredible.
Q. What is your favorite subject matter to focus on and why?
A. A quiet landscape, a meadow, and beautiful sky – they’re pleasing to my eye, the colors and challenge. I’m currently working on some white roses and getting the right colors and shapes can be very challenging and surprising. I want to learn and get better all the time. It’s meditative, I don’t mind going over and over a painting until I get the perfect leaf or blossom.
Q. If you had a motto, for your art and life, what would it be?
A. Choose your attitude. I want my paintings to be pleasing - I try to live my life with a smile on my face, and I want to make people smile!