I am a photographer. I have always loved art, music and taking photos, but had to choose between art class and music in school, so I chose music. Photography took a back seat for a while as film and processing were too expensive for my allowance, so I concentrated on music and received several scholarships for piano and voice.
To make extra money in college, I carved decorative indoor signs for businesses in basswood. Carving just came naturally to me since I had "whittled" with my grandfather as a child. After college, I decided I wanted more out of life – I wanted to travel, to see the country and the world. I joined the Marines and was trained as a Photographer in photojournalism and investigative photography. Later in my service, I attended the Graphic Arts School at Lowery, AFB in Denver, CO, specializing in hand lettering.
During my years in the Corps, I lived in Japan, Denver, CO, San Diego, Vista, and 29 Palms, CA, and I took full advantage of military "hops" to travel in the U.S. and other countries. After the Marines, I started a publishing company, using my graphics and photography skills to publish 3 magazines.
In 2006, after my sons were grown and on their own, I started RV'ing full time – a photographer's dream. In the spring of 2007, along with some other RV'ers, I towed my 5th Wheel to Alaska for the summer. For 16 years I traveled to the four corners of North America – from Alaska to Key West, Mexico to Nova Scotia, and all across Canada – kayaking, hiking, and photographing my heart out. I spent 3 full summers in Alaska, from May until September, and ferried my RV up the Inside Passage on my last trip.
For 10 years I applied for the Denali Park Road Lottery pass and I won my last trip up. I drove the 92 miles of the Park Road to Kantishna, searching for wildlife, spectacular views, and the grand prize of seeing all of Denali. My photography has been featured in several online and print RVing magazines in the U.S. I was too busy traveling, shooting, and cataloging photos to think about trying to sell my work. Then I discovered SmugMug and Adobe Stock!
After selling my RV and buying a house in Sierra Vista in May of 2022, I joined the HAA Gallery and took Pat Richey's wonderful watercolor class. In October, I took the Colored Pencil class taught by Phil Micheau. Phil's class literally changed my life and my perspective on art. My brain and a paintbrush had never seemed to be in sync and it was frustrating. Fortunately, I took to colored pencils like a duck to water as it satisfied my need for detail and my love of realism. Currently I am obsessed with animals but I am about to move on to still life, flowers, and landscapes. I have my huge volume of photographs for reference and inspiration. I also do commissioned portraits of family pets. I continue to enjoy learning more about this medium.
I was trained in photography on an old Nikon F2 in the 70's, but I have been a Canon gal since digital came out. I currently shoot with a Canon 60D – for kayaking, long hikes and other rugged situations – and a Canon 7D with 70-300mm and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L is II lenses. As the 100-400mm lens is becoming too heavy for me, I branched out and invested in a Nikon P1000 for birding and wildlife.
In 2014 I received my third degree, a Bachelor of Science in Communications specializing in marketing and public relations from Colorado State University. I wanted to earn this degree in order to be able to help non-profits. Now that I'm settled down permanently, I look forward to helping more people, to creating art, and to making photographic art as well as continuing to photograph everything!