"Every painting you do, you gain a year to your life," said grandma.
My 7-year old brain pondered what she meant. She had a treasure chest full of insightful comments and beautiful brush strokes.
I used to accompany her on her painting outings. She taught me of the importance of color and the beauty of economizing on line.
School was rather challenging as there was too much math and not enough art. So I filled the spaces I thought were too void, with sketches and comments on the teachers, birds outside the classroom windows and the kid that bugged me. The teachers believed my mind wasn't in the work and sent countless notes home, suggesting that my parents talk to me about the importance of not daydreaming. I've got to hand it to my parents, they just bought me more art supplies.
Even though the years have tried their best to sidetrack me, my need to draw, like breathing has kept me on track. When I had the opportunity to illustrate a magazine in my early twenties, I jumped at the chance. That was the beginning of much collaboration with a whole boat full of wonderful people, illustrating books, other printed material, stationery and doing portraits and whatever else has caught my fancy.
In 2001 I moved from Minnesota to northern California where it rains all winter, the sun shines all summer and the waves have an anatomy all their own.
I find that creating art is the happiest way to live.