Did you take art classes as an adult?
Yes, when Greg and I were newlyweds, I took painting classes at Mt. San Antonio College. The classes taught me nothing.
Projects were just assigned, and we were told to go to it! So, I painted, but learned nothing that was not self-taught.
Then, before I began home schooling my daughters, I had planned to start a decorative painting business, so I took classes with a faux finisher in Mission Viejo,
but life is full of twists and turns, and I ended up putting the business on the back burner and home schooling the girls instead.
When were you finally able to pursue your career in art as a profession?
After my youngest daughter, Andrea, graduated from high school in 2003, I decided to pursue my passion for art.
Since I had so much experience in decorating and floral design, I decided I wanted to blend interior decorating with my love of painting,
so I decided to pursue mural painting training. With that in mind, I took a semester class in linear perspective at Mt. San Antonio College.
Perspective was the breakthrough during the renaissance, which allowed artists to create realism by accurately placing objects in their proper place on a 2-D plane to create the illusion of a 3-D scene.
So, my perspective class was extremely valuable. I believe that all artists who want to paint more than just solitary figures, such as portraits,
should study perspective to be able to create believable scenes, whether interior or exterior.
After this class, I began painting feverishly. I painted for churches and private residences.
Since I believed that being able to paint convincing marble would be useful in classical murals, in 2004, I flew to Villa Park, Illinois,
to take a workshop with French master marble painter, Pierre Le Fumat.
In 2005, I flew to Florence Italy, to study classical realism at the prestigious Angel Academy of Art. I have approached painting differently ever since.
All of my art classes up to this point (except linear perspective) had only assigned projects and never taught methods.
The classes in Italy were an epiphany in my ability to paint.
I learned about modeling, soft and hard edges, lost and found edges, selective focus, fall of light,
color palettes, proper application of the various steps in oil painting, correct mediums to use, and the reasons behind all of the above.
Since most murals are painted in acrylic, I decided to learn the mechanics behind acrylic painting. All of my previous paintings done in acrylic were painted intuitively.
I wanted to learn the hows and whys of acrylic painting. So, in 2006, I took several weeks of painting classes with successful muralist, William Cochran,
in Northern California.
Color theory came alive in his classes. I was taught that I could condense the number of tubes of paint I needed. I learned to paint a full-color painting,
using only yellow, magenta, blue, and, of course, white! Furthermore, I learned the importance of cool versus warm colors.
Finally, I wanted to study with a muralist who was a real master in landscape painting, so in 2007 and 2008, I flew to Connecticut,
to study landscape painting with renowned French muralist, Pascal Amblard. Pascal is so multi-faceted that I not only learned more tricks of the trade,
but he taught me a new way to approach painting landscapes and architecture. Furthermore, all of my linear perspective training was reaffirmed large-scale
and from the vantage point of a muralist, not an easel painter.
I have always drawn and painted intuitively. Taking classes from professionals has broadened my expertise and taught me the tricks of the trade in my new career.
Learning from master painters truly speeds up the process. It opens one's imagination to new ways of approaching various painting and design situations.
Also, being around other artists who are as excited about painting as I am, is always very inspirational.
Tell me about your artwork.
My artwork is both decorative painting and fine art. As I mentioned previously, in my desire to blend my two passions, art and decorating,
I decided to pursue mural painting. I love the process of meeting with my clients and fleshing out their visions on canvas. After the paintings are complete,
my greatest thrill is when they tell me that my artwork transports them to a place of their dreams, one that I have been able to create for them on canvas
and apply to their walls. One of my clients was so thrilled with her mural, that she had a catered event with champagne at the unveiling of my artwork,
and invited 50 of her friends to the event. This has led to several commissions and contacts with architects and interior designers who want to refer me to
clients of their own.
However, I just love to paint, and do not want to limit myself to painting murals. I absolutely love painting portraits and have been commissioned to paint
portraits and to illustrate books.
In the late 1980s, I started out doing home parties as a floral designer and developed quite a large client base. They loved my work so much,
that eventually many clients would just send me fabric or wallpaper swatches, and ask me to design arrangements to complement them.
They were so confident in my creations that they never gave any guidelines, believing that what I designed would be just right!
I had so much work that I was at a crossroad of either opening a shop and hiring help or refusing work.
That is when my husband's job required that we relocate to Germany for six months, once again putting my career on a back burner.
How many years have you been a full-time artist?
Approximately ten years, if I include floral design and interior design. But I have been doing art in one form or another for as long as I can remember.
Do you plan to take future classes abroad or in the states?
My goal at this point in time is to grow my portfolio and experiment with everything I have learned so far. But there is always something new to learn.
So, yes, I am a life-long learner, so I will pursue additional classes as time permits. I love to learn!!
Any plans to have gallery showings in the future?
After I have created a large body of work, I plan on approaching some galleries in Southern California.
What would be your ideal career outcome?
I want to share my art expressions with the world. I want to paint and bring joy to the viewers of my artwork, be it though murals, portraits,
or anything else realistic. I have a passion for painting. I feel a burning desire to paint.
What better way to make a living than by doing something that one loves?
It is a blessing to love to go to work!