Welcome and thank you for taking a moment to learn more about me and my art.
At the age of two, at the first easel my mom bought me, I remember thinking... "I am an artist!"
Yet, as I grew older the belief in my talent grew dim because I didn't see anyone making a living as a painter and there weren't any art galleries in my hometown.
My first exposure to something like an art gallery was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My second exposure was the Louvre in Paris with the Foreign Study League. Can you maybe understand why I thought I was not good enough and may never be?
As a teenager I painted constantly. I was a loner, a wallflower, and extremely shy and life was tough. My artwork won awards because my art teacher entered them into tri-county high school competitions. Out of the hundreds of entrees my work received top awards. Her belief in me will never be forgotten.
My first portrait commission was at the age of 16 and looking back, it was actually good. Before I became a professional painter, I was an award winning makeup artist for over a decade. That experience gave me some confidence in myself. Then one night in 1989, I thought that I was going to die. In that moment, I realized "I never got to be a professional artist." I resigned from that career, moved from South Florida back to NY and enrolled in art school.
Soon after graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from SUNY, I had a portrait accepted into the Pastel Society of America's international exhibit at the National Arts Club and received a scholarship to attend the Art Students League in New York City.
In the late 90s, a well known local painter pulled me aside to tell me I had what it takes to excel. She suggested that instead of pursuing a masters, I should look at the Ridgewood Art Institute to study exclusively with John Phillip Osborne. She and I agreed that the skills I desired in classical training could be found there so I set forth to expand my skills in portrait painting. I loved it.
At the Institute there was a north light studio with live models and even plein air painting excursions so the students could learn how to paint the land from life. Access to the knowledge handed down from a strong lineage of masters was made available.
It made sense to me to study for years with Osborne so he could see what I still needed to learn and could guide me. His teacher was Arthur Maynard and Maynard studied under Frank Vincent Dummond. Years later, after seeing an original work by Dummond, I realized that "my inner colors" needed to come out more like Dummond's did. Despite being at the Institute and learning about prismatic colors, rainbow colors that are evident in everything around us, I was holding back my love of color.
This training helped me to quickly find acclaim as a portrait painter, but after 9/11 in 2001 I stopped painting portraits.
This all helped me to realize that Mother Nature was the healing energy I needed to recover from a deeply resonating personal loss. About the same time I began teaching beginner students at SUNY Orange as an art adjunct. There I had the realization that art and color can help us all to heal. The healing colors slowly began to emerge in my work.
Others I studied more extensively with are Robin Arnold, Garin Baker, and Andrew Lattimore. Past influences have been Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Mark Rothko, Edgar Degas, and Mary Cassatt.
One day in my studio in NY, I experienced synesthesia (as did Kadinsky). The sounds of colors filled my ears and the colors literally popped off the canvas scaring me quite frankly. Yet, it was like I had a fine tuning inside of me to understand the feeling of color in a new way. This interesting experience gave me a heightened sense of color when outdoors. Now I aim to bring the feeling of the outdoors inside by my use of color when painting en plein air. You can see how these color shows up in the Skyscape collection.
Since 2002, Color & Energy workshops have been geared to help landscape painters in the US and then in 2005 students were taken to Italy and Greece. In 2020, I launched online courses with demos and simple exercises that puts this invaluable information in front of students everywhere. A student can upload their work for me to look so they can learn faster than how I learned so many years ago.
My work has exhibited extensively around North America including the prestigious National Arts Club several times in New York City with the Pastel Society of America where I recently won a top award and Signature status.
The feeling I had at two years old returned - I am an artist! And, I am loving it all.
My work is in galleries where the staff believes in my work and helps to find wonderful collectors from all over.
Signature member of the Pastel Society of America
Oil Painters of America
Signature member of the CA, NY and International Plein Air Painters
Gallery representation includes:
530 Burns Gallery in Sarasota, FL
Nikki Sedacca Gallery at Martha's Vineyard
Visit our events calendar for upcoming classes and events.