In 2005 I began art classes with Kathy through the Warren Fine Arts Center (WFAC). It was really more of a workshop where a group of people met once a week to chat and work on their art. Kathy was our mentor, guiding us through our own personal journey. Some worked in pen and ink while others worked with pastels. I had no experience with the latter, so I stuck with something familiar.

As a new mom, I wanted to do a portrait of my baby. I fished out one of my very favorite photos of Dylan at 8 months. It was taken when we were on a mini vacation up north with my mom. Dylan was playing in his saucer and smiling for the camera.

12″x14″ Pen & Ink on Bristol Board Adapted from Personal Photograph

The first step was to blow-up the image to the desired size and lightly transfer it to the bristol board with graphite. Next, I carefully outlined the shadows and highlights. I started by stippling the eyes. As Kathy taught us, the eyes are the most important part in a portrait. If you get those right, then you’ve captured the person’s essence. And if you don’t, you haven’t wasted hours of work. From there it was a matter of focusing on the shapes formed by the shadows and highlights rather than thinking about the actual part of the body. After the dots were all applied, I used very straight thin lines to convey his hair.


The Face

For this high school assignment, I created a large quasi-stippling piece. My subject was a young girl whose image I cut from a magazine. Although, after completion, everyone thought it was a self-portrait! Using a projector, I lightly replicated the image onto a large piece of poster board with pencil and then added the details in ink. I decided to focus on the darks and shadows and left the light areas completely white.

Every year our teacher would showcase a few pieces of art in the student hallway.  This year mine was chosen to hang in the “gallery”.  It was my first taste of showing my art to people other than my family and friends and I couldn’t have been more proud!

It was 1988 and the band Duran Duran was a huge success and wildly admired by us teenage girls! Although not intentional, this piece always reminds me of Patrick Nagel‘s artwork for the Rio album cover.

The Face
24″ x 36″ Pen & Ink on Poster Board adapted from photograph


My art education began in high school. I was fortunate to have a wonderful art teacher, Mrs. Susan Sturtevant. She was the picture of what I envisioned an artist should be: free-flowing wild curly blond hair with kind eyes and a gentle voice. She wore long, colorful, breathy skirts and was very knowledgeable about art. She taught us history and technique and was always encouraging. Thank you Mrs. Sturtevant, wherever you may be!

One of my favorite paintings is Buddha. I can still picture the projected image in the front of the classroom. Of course the medium was crackled tempera paints applied with overused, cheep paintbrushes. We had recently been introduced to the Impressionists and I thought they were magical! So, with old brush in hand, I tried to replicate what I had seen Monet, Renoir, and Degas create so effortlessly.

12″x 18″ Tempera on Cardboard Adapted from Photograph