I first discovered my God-given talent when my parents moved my two sisters and me from the big city to a horse ranch in Fulton, Missouri. I remember my parents giving me an oil painting set for Christmas when I was 8 years old. I clearly remember the excitement of opening my first tube of oil paints and squeezing it onto my pallet. I will never forget the feel of the rich, thick paints as I brushed it onto the canvas. The smell of the oil paints when I walk into my studio is as pleasing and comforting as the smell of fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies!
In school my favorite classes were art, home economics and drama. I think that they were the only classes in which I received As. I have furthered my art education by attending several drawing and painting classes at William Woods University in Fulton. I took what I had learned and produced workshops for the public on Intro to Oil Painting. I find I really enjoy teaching and helping others to learn how to paint. My future dream is starting a children's art camp.
I have received numerous awards in local, regional, and state competitions. My biggest honor was to be chosen one of Best of 50 for the Missouri State Fair Competition. I'm on the Board of Best of Missouri Hands, and a member of both the Columbia Art League and the Jefferson City Art Club. I do commissioned portraits in oil and graphite, murals, and logo designs. My style is realism. I tell my clients that I'm a photo realist. If they can get me a photo that is clear, and I can see the detail of the eyes, then I can produce a live spirit in the painting. I can create that image on my canvas. When I paint, I am passing on the spirit of that subject and recreating it on the canvas. When painting a portrait, I do the eyes first. If they don't sparkle back at me, there is no reason to continue.
My family is made up of four boys and five grandchildren. (It's great being a grandma!) The boys have their own lives now, and my husband, John, and I own and operate Kingdom of Callaway Vineyard and Studio from our family farm in Fulton.