Meet the Artist

A Bizarre Childhood

Parts of my life were so horrific that no one should ever have to experience, while other parts were totally idealistic. Put all my experiences together, my life reads much like fiction. As an infant I was misdiagnosed as needing to be on medication for seizures. I was on Phenobarbital and Dilantin, two very strong drugs, until my mid-teens. With my father being in the Navy we travelled quite a bit. The view of my world kept changing. I spent those years in a fog, trying to decipher what was reality and what was dream.

I expressed myself through art from a very early age, learning to use most every medium available. At nine years old, my father gave me a carving knife, which never left my side as we camped the Sierra Nevada wilderness many weekends throughout the year. At age 11, we moved to New Jersey and my interest turned to oil painting when I began lessons with the well-known artist Fredrick W. Reiniger. Throughout my years as an artist I have worked in ceramics, glass, watercolors, fiber arts and dyes, pastels, pencils, photography, and most every other media that comes to mind.

My other love has always been my horses. While I was so drugged that I didn’t pick up on the social clues children learn, my horses taught me patience, perseverance, kindness, and poise. Learning how to deal with humans came later. Art and horses are what got me through life until I got off the medication and “woke up”.

I was very lucky to have excellent riding instructors and great horses. While my father was stationed in Philadelphia we lived in New Jersey and I was trained by a well known instructor, Ernest C. Bell. He was especially great teaching hunt seat to young riders. A group of us showed frequently and had George Morris of the U.S.A. Olympic Equestrian Team down often to work with us. One summer I took time off from showing to go to the Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where I learned eventing, which includes dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country jumping, but graduating from that school was not an option since I had not yet graduated from high school. In the winter I hunted as a guest with the Monmouth County Hunt Club in New Jersey. During college I rode with Laddy Andahazy, showing with him throughout the summers and during hunt season riding with the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. After college I moved to Buffalo, NY and rode with Chuck Graham, a well known Show Hunter trainer.

Once I got off the medication, I realized I knew very little so I spent hours teaching myself how to read and being proficient with math. My last two years of high school I received straight “A’s’ and went on to graduate from college with a BFA degree (Bachelor of Fine Arts). I graduated with honors, Magna cum Laude, from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, where I was able to take my horse to school with me. I then went on to receive my Masters in Education from SUNY at Buffalo, NY with a higher grade point average then I had with my undergraduate degree.

After graduation with my BFA I took a job as a graphic designer which lasted 11 years and eventually overlapped my next career as an art teacher. Teaching lasted another 25+ years or so with most of those years teaching high school. I found that my early experiences of being heavily medicated made me an empathetic and understanding teacher. My favorite classes that I taught were Architecture, Ceramics, Digital Imaging, Photography and Fabric Arts, but I also taught General Drawing & Painting, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Art History, and Life Studies. I loved teaching a wide variety of subjects. During my teaching career I also started a studio where I designed and created custom porcelain and crystal dinnerware, corporate gifts, awards for yacht clubs and horse shows and personalized wedding gifts. I retired from teaching in 2020 and still enjoy working in a wide variety of media in my retirement.

You can see a glimpse of my childhood in my art. Some appears quite normal until you look deeper, while other works will take you through unexpected twists, turns, holes and fog, playing games with your mind…making you wonder if what you see is really what was meant to be. I invite you to enjoy the results of a bizarre childhood… An Altered Reality.

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