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How long have you been painting?

I’ve been painting since I was in junior high school. My first public competition was at that age, and I won first and second place ribbons for a trio of watercolor florals that I still have to this day. I was even in the local paper! I continued my study of art through high school and college. Up until about 25 years ago, I painted in various other mediums, avoiding watercolor because of its intimidating nature and difficulty in controlling.

Do you paint in other mediums?

Yes, I have. I’ve painted in oils with that being my focus. I then expanded by using both oil pastels and pastel pencils. A lot of my work was in graphite (art pencils) when working on portraits. My favorite for the longest time was oils. Oils are very forgiving. You can easily make a change! At one point, because I was intrigued by watercolor, I decided to take classes to explore this medium.

Why do you prefer watercolors?

I’m a watercolor purist now. It’s such a mixed medium with depth and versatility that still amazes me. When you look at a watercolor painting, you will expect it to be a watercolor, or you will be shocked that it is because of its ability to be refined and detailed. There is more for me to learn and explore about watercolor that it will be my friend for quite a while.

What paper and paints do you use?

I exclusively use Arches 140# cold press for all my work, including portraits. It has just the right amount of tooth, texture for a variety of topics. I have various brands of paper in blocks that I use when traveling. I mainly use M Graham watercolor paints. M Graham is an exceptional high-end quality paint. The binder used is honey, and the texture and consistency of the paint are consistent. Never drying out on a palette, yet firm enough to stay put when traveling, it reconstitutes readily and to a range of shades. I occasionally may use some Windsor Newton, Stephen Quiller, and QoR, but rarely, instead of just relying on my M Graham paints.

For a commissioned piece, you won’t show your work in progress – why?

I opt not to show my work in progress to my client for a couple of reasons. First, during a painting’s development, it goes through various stages, including what I call the “ugly phase.” To the untrained eye, this may look like a problem when it’s not. By its very nature, watercolor requires layering, glazing, and drying before another stage can take place. Secondly, the client likes my work, trusts me, and wants a custom work of art in my style. If a client were to have complete visibility, it would be very tempting for them to ask me to change something. That in itself will alter the outcome and the vision I have of the finished product. For these reasons, I keep the process confidential, even from my blog, until I’ve unveiled it to my client. Once finished, only then do I post on my blog.

How long generally does it take to complete a commissioned piece?

Depending on the degree of detail and size, it can take anywhere from one month up to three. I prefer to work on one piece of art at a time to focus my attention on the intricate natures of the painting.

I love your art, but I can’t afford an original! Is there other artwork available?

Most of my art is available in a giclee, a fine art print. Giclees are generally a third the cost of an original and can quickly ship. I also produce greeting cards, including several styles suitable for Christmas, and any art can easily be made into a greeting card, by request.


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