As the firstborn in a large family where art was valued, I aspired early to become an artist. An inspirational teacher in public school, who challenged us to draw the stuffed birds he brought to class and taught us two-point perspective, fed that aspiration. However, over time I felt I was better at words. Though I took some art history and studio courses at university, nothing developed from them and writing became my siren call as a creative outlet. As a result, in addition to various day jobs including working as a care aide, teaching, and medical transcription, I found expression as a freelance writer, poet, and book author.
That changed in 2017 when, after my brother declined my ask to illustrate a children’s book I was working on, I decided to delve back into art and maybe do it myself. A Christmas gift of sketching pencils and a sketchbook opened the art floodgates. Life became a series of “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”  experiences as I pursued Bible Art Journaling, watercolor painting, and establishing a daily sketchbook practice. Joining Instagram opened my eyes to the many aspects of modern artistic expression and I got hooked on “oh shiny—I want to try that!” Though the book illustration project never came to fruition, my crush on art continues.
Currently, the art book collection I have assembled along with videos are my teachers. Main influences are Jenna Rainey, Samantha Dion Baker, and Billy Showell (I am enrolled in her online school of botanical watercolour).
I have also joined my local art association, begun exhibiting in local shows, and taken on a few commissions.
I create realistic depictions of nature and the stuff of everyday life using watercolor and mixed media. I love the design, complexity, and beauty of the natural world and attempting to recreate it in two dimensions is a continuous challenge and joy. It feels like my years of attempting to paint pictures with words (I spent years as a writer) have morphed into art, as so ably expressed by poet Edward Hirsch: “Poetry and music are sister arts. So are poetry and painting. It’s as if the eye and the ear were related through poetry, as if they had become siblings or lovers.” 
My many-year habit of always carrying a camera with me on walks has given me an archive of thousands of photos which I use as references for my photo-realistic paintings. “Anything can be drawn and it becomes beautiful once it’s on the page,” says sketch journal diva Samantha Dion Baker.  My hope is that my art will open the eyes of the viewer to the extraordinary beauty in the ordinary world that surrounds us.
 Attributed to Buddha and the Theosophists.
 Edward Hirsch in How to Read a Poem, Harcourt, Brace & Co., Durham, N. Carolina, 1999, p. 17.
 Samantha Dion Baker, from a video posted on her Facebook page.