Hi! I'm a latent artist!
As a teenager, I can say I studied commercial art - my parents paid for the 3-year course offered by Art Instruction Schools (remember the "Draw Winky" contest?). Don't get me wrong - I actually learned a lot from that correspondence course. At 17, I even tried freelance drawing for a graphic arts company, but it just didn't click: I couldn't create on demand!
I've always worked in creative fields (such as instructional design and corporate training), but none were related to art. Over the years, I casually explored several artistic outlets: Drawing, pastels, painting, jewelry-making and stained and fused glass art. In Tucson, I taught a beginner’s stained glass class for Ochoa Glass. However, all of my glass work was for my own enjoyment. While I was working at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, DC, I started taking mosaics classes at The Art League in Alexandria, VA with Anita Damron, a well-respected mosaic artist, and with Bonnie Fitzgerald at the Smithsonian - a great mosaic artist that's authored several 'how to' mosaics books. During that time, I learned a lot of mosaic techniques but discovered that what I loved most was creating mosaics from reclaimed and re-purposed items or 'bling' as I call it. Too much stuff is wasted in our society; instead, we can use excess stuff to create art!
While I was rediscovering my artistic side, I found a great source of materials at two local ‘creative re-use arts centers’ in the Metro DC area. When my husband, (a metal and mixed media artist), and I decided to return to Tucson, we became part-time artists while running a new creative re-use arts center, Upcycle Tucson. It was a place where we could access upcycled materials while creating art - and teach others to create art while promoting sustainability! An unexpected bonus was meeting enough Tucson artists and crafters, a quirky community that nourished our spirits, to create the Upcycle Tucson Arts Group on Facebook.
We've since closed Upcycle Tucson (the store, classroom, and artists' marketplace) but I still create mosaics, teach classes, and promote sustainability via upcycled art. You can see some of my 3-D mosaics in Desert Artisans Gallery. I've also had my mosaics in several shows & gallery events. As of August 2018, I teach mosaics classes at Blue Raven Art School. You'll be seeing more of my work in the future!