How I Got Started

elements of art how to be a better artist inspiration the emotion of art Jun 22, 2023
Prendergast's Umbrellas in the Rain

When I was 21 I saw the first piece of art that really spoke to me.

 I was in NY for my cousin's wedding and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I saw an intriguing watercolor painting, Prendergast's Umbrellas in the Rain. Oh, all the beautiful shapes of color. Looking at it just made me happy. So happy that I bought the poster on the way out of the museum and put it up in my room my senior year of college. Mid-year, I had to choose my last semester classes. After scheduling my required classes, I realized I needed one last credit to fill my schedule. I chose a watercolor class. Little did I know that was the start of my life-long study of art.


A watercolor class - The idea of making something like my Prendergast painting was thrilling.

After college I worked in traditional marketing jobs but continued to take art classes here and there as life brought me to live in England, Chicago, back to South Florida and then to North Florida. As a stay at home mom, art was just something fun I did when I had the time. I never imagined it as a career.

Things changed when my oldest son was getting ready to go off to college. I took him to his college orientation weekend and saw an inspiring speaker that left me with an interesting question, "What gift do you have inside that you could share with the world?" Hmmm, I liked art. I liked kids. I will become an art teacher, I thought, and share art with my students. Long story short, I did just that and within 2 years became Edge Elementary School's first ever art teacher. I loved teaching and the students loved to learn. It was through my research on how best to teach them, that I rediscovered the basic elements of art. I taught these simple yet powerful rules to my students and they found their way into my own original artwork. I started to become a better painter and sales flourished. This was an exciting time of self growth.  I was a much better student now than I was in college and felt I could learn anything. I had a new idea: could I learn to become a better artist?


I had built confidence through teaching and felt I could learn something new. I took the plunge.

I stopped teaching and started to focus on my own artwork, getting up early every morning to paint. It took practice. I also did lots of research, searching online for artists I liked, hoping they had a demo showing me how they made their magic.

Soon there was a website, and I started showing at shows and a local gallery. A gallery in Naples reached out to show my work. I won some awards and opened my own studio/gallery on beautiful 30a in Santa Rosa Beach. This led to teaching adults how to paint in my studio and online. I continue to learn loads  - - about new technology, art theory, social media, and the like. And you know what?  For me, all this continued learning is the key to a fulfilling life. It certainly keeps me popping up every day, excited for what's ahead.