My love affair with horses began when I could barely pick up a pencil. I was that little girl who adored ponies and never let her parents pass by a merry-go-round or mechanical pony without a ride. The local library couldn’t keep enough books about horses to satisfy my unending thirst for everything equine.
My earliest art endeavors were simply re-drawing the wonderful illustrations from books like the “Black Stallion” series by Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” and Anna Sewell’s “Black Beauty.” Although I ultimately chose to make my living in corporate America, I never lost my passion for the arts and pursued it as a hobby. What I couldn’t seem to discover, though, was the medium that truly resonated with me.
I dabbled in figure drawing, watercolor, airbrush, as well as oils, and I took several courses at the Atlanta College of Art. It was in an oil portrait painting class that my instructor, Thomasine Bradford, encouraged us to learn to use a camera for taking reference photos of children. I followed her advice and fell in love with photography. I attended photography classes at the Southeastern Center for the Arts and was privileged to study under Neil Chaput de Saintonge, who later founded the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana. Those courses were instrumental in helping me develop a critical eye for strong composition.
With the technological advances in cameras and photo-editing software, it became a challenge to distinguish my work among other photographers. So I decided to return to my first love: painting and horses. However, I still hadn’t found that perfect medium. I had been following the work of Lesley Harrison (Master Pastelist) and was inspired by her amazing talent and the way she captures expressions that endear her subjects to the viewer. In late 2013 I attended my first pastel workshop with Lesley, who is now both a mentor and friend. I have never been more enamored with a medium than I am with pastel. The tactile experience of working with pastels, the brilliancy of the colors, and the immediacy of the medium were exactly what I’d been searching for all these years. I will be forever grateful to Lesley for opening this door for me!
My artistic goal is to paint subjects in a way that showcases their beauty and majesty. Horses were an easy choice because they exemplify these traits in way that moves so many people. Now that I have a portfolio of equine art, I plan to expand to other subjects, including other animals/wildlife and the human figure, as I continue to grow my skills and work toward mastery of the pastel medium.
Pastel Society of America, Associate Member
Southeastern Pastel Society, Member of Excellence and Awards Co-Chairperson
Booth Museum Artists’ Guild, Member
Richeson 2018 Animal and Wildlife Exhibition – Finalist
Southeastern Pastel Society – 2018 International Exhibition
Southeastern Pastel Society – 2017 Member Exhibition – Merit Award
Booth Art Guild 2017 Winter Exhibition
Southern Appalachian Artists Guild – 2016 National Exhibition
Booth Art Guild – 2016 Juried Exhibition – Third Place and People’s Choice Award
Southeastern Pastel Society – 2016 Summer Exhibition
Southeastern Pastel Society – 2016 International Exhibition
Southeastern Pastel Society – 2015 Member Exhibition
Southeastern Pastel Society – 2014 International Exhibition
Pastel Journal’s 20th Annual Pastel 100 Competition – Honorable Mention – to be published April 2019
Feature article in 2015 issue of “The Vanner” (annual publication of The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society)