My father was a career Army officer, so I spent my life living and traveling around the world. At a young age, I learned to recognize and appreciate fine art. My mother would sit down with me and look through artists' picture books. By the time I was 7 years old, I knew the Impressionists were my favorite painters. While living in Germany, my mother took me to such places as the Louvre in France, the world’s largest flower garden at Keukenhof, Holland, and the famous woodcarvers’ shops in Oberammergau. Each experience gave me insight into the beauty and process of creation.
Upon graduation from college, I too entered the Army as an officer. My travels and introduction to new art forms continued. Assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington, I saw firsthand the glass blowers in the city of Tacoma, now home to the Chihuly Museum of Glass. Deployed to Cuba, I was impressed by the pictures drawn by the Haitian refugee children. In Korea, I learned to appreciate Asian art and style.
As I continued my military career, my art education continued as well. I visited Catherine the Great’s jewels and 50 Faberge eggs in the Armory at the Kremlin in Moscow. The vast collection of traditional Russian icons was phenomenal at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. In the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo near Saint Petersburg is a complete chamber decoration of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors - "the Amber Room." Due to its singular beauty, it was sometimes dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The glass and crystal in Prague kwas more breathtaking than I could ever imagine. And the beads of Italy…what can I say.
I began to dabble with a bit of jewelry design in 1995, thanks to Debbie A. In 2002, I left the military and gave birth to my wonderful daughter; and was able to devote more time to jewelry design. In 2004, my darling son was born. I began small, first with gifts of jewelry, then selling to the nursery school moms. I have to credit my muse, Heidi K., for pushing me to start thinking bigger. I also have to thank my two close friends, Mary Pat J. and Pam L, for their moral support. Mary Pat and Pam had to endure my first pieces of work, and then humor me into thinking that these were the greatest jewelry works of art since Faberge’s eggs...far from it.
I am a founding member of the Glass Artists of the Pikes Peak Region (GAPPR), a founding member of the Southern Colorado Bead Society (SCBS), a former member of the Commonwheel Artists Co-op in Manitou Springs and a jewelry instructor at the USAFA Arts and Craft Center. My work is for sale at the Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City.
So, that is my story. I love what I am doing. I feel a little like a cat on its 4th life; student of art; Army officer exposed to the world’s beautiful creations, Mom with the two most precious treasures in the world, and now jewelry artist. As my sister said, “I wake up every morning loving what I am doing.” I hope you can share in my joy.