Lots of children paint and draw, as it's part of growing up. In grammar school we were given short periods between our studies in which we could express ourselves.
I only wanted to draw, so I "quit" school during the first grade.
Kicking and crying, I was dragged back to the classroom and bribed to study with the promise of more time to devote to my art.
By the fourth grade, drawing wasn't enough; I wanted to paint.
Fortunately, I was able to attend a nearby art studio.
Abstract Expressionism was my introduction to serious painting, this was way too much fun, with paint flying off the palette knife and the intoxicating smell of turpentine.
I was addicted, that was in the sixties.
In high school my focus shifted to Impressionism and Realism; I created landscapes and seascapes, selling them in a local gallery.
After high school, I realized that I needed to earn a living in order to pursue my art.
I purchased a hairdressing studio, running it successfully for 12 years.
I also married and had three children and painted only in the little free time I had.
In 1988 I chanced upon an elderly gentleman who invited me to sit and chat with him.
He looked at my hands and asked if I were an artist.
His question triggered me to open up and talk about my life and how I thought about myself as a painter.
When I finished he said quietly, "I think the light today is very warm."
I didn't understand what he meant, as it was cool out, so I asked him to clarify his words.
He began to talk about how our surroundings have a warmth to them from the light at the perfect time of day.
He told me that the seasons, atmospheric conditions and time of day determine how we see color in warms and cools.
I have studied artists from contemporary painters to the masters, but wasn't prepared for what the elderly gentleman revealed to me.
On his easel was a Native American pot in front of a black drape sitting on a ledge. Next to it was the painting!
The illusion he created on canvas was so realistic as to be astonishing.
It was as if it were the real thing. How could this be possible on a flat surface?
So full of life! He had nurtured and developed this painting over six weeks, a process of applying layers upon layers, glazing, scraping thin and thick paint, light and shadow.
I had to paint like this if only I could.
Well, I did and do.
I met with this great artist, Jerry Venditti, for the next ten years almost daily to learn from watching and listening to him, critiquing, and of course creating paintings, hundreds of them.
From the day I stepped into Jerry's studio, I've been painting full time. It has consumed my life.