Welcome to my world ... come with me and share the joy of painting. Painting allows me to slip away into a wonderful world. I leave the routine of my daily life, think with my heart and paint.
At age ten I was given a small box of Grumbacher oil paints by a favorite aunt because she had enrolled me in a Parks and Recreation Summer Painting Class in Fort Worth, Texas. I arrived for class with my small box of oil paints, a couple of brushes, canvas boards and a heart racing in anticipation of the great adventure I was about to embark upon. To my dismay and disappointment the class had only two members and it was cancelled.
My first masterpiece was painted at our kitchen table. A canvas board with Donald Duck diving into a pool of Prussian Blue water ... oil paint straight from the tube. Nothing as trivial as not having a teacher stopped me from painting. I did not allow my mind to stop me from thinking with my heart.
My painting and designs reflect an old world charm of traditional folk art developed from the techniques that I learned from the late Joyce Howard. I "mud" instead of antiquing over the whole design .... there is a vast difference in the two methods. I painted with her many times over the span of several years. In 1984 with my good friends Helen Cavin and Rosemary West I flew to Wayne, NJ to paint with Joyce shortly before her death. It remains as one of the highlights of my painting career. What fun we had…what talent. Her technique was a new, fresh approach to Folk Art. We were in awe of the wonderful pieces she had created and displayed in her home.
Mary Jo Leisure was my first seminar teacher. JoSonja Jansen was my first hero, indeed, many of her first books are falling apart because they were "much loved and much used" in my early painting career.
My collection of Peter Ompir pieces started over 20 years ago influences my painting style. His beautiful pieces are my prized possessions. The vibrant colors are antiqued and then aged by adding many layers of varnish. They are delightful. His pieces are painted primarily on old tin ware. It does not get much better than these!
Old tin was a passion long before I was introduced to decorative painting. My passion for old tin is exceeded only by my love of painting. I have an extensive collection of old tin collected in our travels over the years. In recent years my husband, Bill, and I started a new business venture … Folk Art Tin™. We have tin manufactured for my designs and design new tin pieces for today’s decorative painter. We retail and wholesale our tin and ship it internationally. Many of the pieces are reproductions of antique tin ware. Our product line continues to grow and add new designs regularly.
Little did I know that a career was launched as Donald dove into that swimming pool because a ten year old had already learned to think with her heart. Over the years I learned not to allow my mind to interfere when my heart leads me. Because of this, my ability to design was realized, my painting skills grew, five books were published, hundreds of pattern packets evolved, dozens of magazine articles were printed, a business was born and my life was enriched by the painters that have touched my heart. The pleasures of life are immensely greater when you think with my heart.