A little about me...
I was born in Orlando, Florida, in 1961, and fell in love with art in kindergarten. I attended primary, middle and jr. high school in Florida, Oklahoma, Mexico, Guatemala and Texas. After graduating from high school, I had the opportunity to study at the Art Institute of Dallas and follow my dream of being an editorial and children's storybook illustrator. My career began in Dallas, TX, after high school, working for a national yearbook publisher, stripping negatives and doing paste up art. While attending art school, I worked freelance as a product illustrator for a large advertising agency. Upon graduation from art school, I continued to work freelance, illustrating a series of children's books about native animals for a Texas history publisher, editorials for a major Dallas newspaper and marketing communications for various local and national ad agencies.
I grew up from second grade through my freshman year of high school in Guatemala, Central America, with my family. A year out of art school, I was invited to return to Guatemala for a two year assignment illustrating primers and producing newsletters for literacy and translation workers there from 1984-1986. When I returned to Dallas, I became very involved in advocacy for political refugees seeking asylum from civil war in Central America, while continuing to pursue my career in graphic design and illustration.
In 2010, I moved to Oklahoma to be near my aging father and my mother, who suffered with Parkinson's disease. For a year I lived in the little town of Warner, in the company of my two dogs, Bear and Bubo, my cat, Smokie, and an old Paint mare, Temple, while I worked part time for a magazine publisher in Muskogee.
One evening after a rain storm I was sitting on my horse, Temple, bareback, wearing rubber rain boots. When Temple turned to go to her feed bucket, I slid off her back and fell onto a rock, resulting in 4 broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a few days in an induced coma in intensive care. After that, in 2011, my oldest brother insisted I move up closer to him, to Tulsa, OK.
I worked various customer service jobs until, in 2013, while working in a call center, a coworker showed me a photo of her basset hound, and I offered to do a watercolor painting from the photo for her. She friend loved it, and a little later another friend asked me to do a painting from a photo of her and her daughter.
I had loved working in her field of graphic design for print for 30 years. When that ended, and I was working at a call center, solving billing questions for customers of a giant corporation all day every day, I was driven to express my creativity and art in a different way. I started offering portraits to raise funds for pet rescues, and now I create original pencil and watercolor portraits for people of dear family and beloved pets all the way from Rhode Island to California. For now, I work full time at the call center to pay my regular living expenses. Then, after work and on my days off, I contributes custom portraits for auctions to raise funds for pet rescues in Tulsa and other cities, and I accept commissions to create special portraits of pets and people to pay for food and vet bills for my 3 dogs and 2 cats, all rescued from kill shelters in Oklahoma.
I would love to create a special treasure for you of your loved one(s) to help support my little fur family and other people and pets in need.
Thank you 🐾