I have been asked when I began to paint with oils and to work with glass. The short answer is that I began creating in glass in the spring of 1990 and with oil paint the fall of 1990. The full story is that I had dabbled in different kinds of paint such as tempra, acrylic, watercolor and gouache from junior high through the first couple of years in college. I had not touched oil paint and I am not completely sure why. Was I intimidated? I had seen what had been done by other students in that class and perhaps I was intimidated. Another thought is that I was focusing on going into medical illustration and I had seen illustrations done in pen & ink, watercolor and gouache, but I do not recall seeing them done in oils. Oil painting was not really on my radar. My adviser suggested that I should give it a try and so with some reluctance I signed up for a class the fall of 1990. The first semester started out rough. The class was basically life drawing but using paint instead of pencils and charcoal. My paintings were muddy, I had a hard time trying to mix and combine color. Though it was difficult I fell in love with the medium. The vibrancy of the colors, the smoothness of the paint, the smell of the oil and paint thinner (side note: my dad is an aircraft mechanic and when I was a child he would come home smelling of the aircraft cleaning chemical, so I associate him with odors such as paint thinner and turpentine). I felt free as I painted, if I made a mistake or did not like something I could wipe it off or allow the paint to dry and paint over it. I was hooked! I kept taking these classes over a 2yr period and after graduating I kept painting. Slowly a style began to emerge and is evolving, becoming intertwined with my stained glass style.
A class mate of mine in college one day asked if I would like to work with him in his business of creating stained glass windows. I said that I would and I began working with him in May 1990. The artist's name is John Dobbs. I learned the basics of glass cutting, fabricating a glass panel and installing the panel(s). Just like oil painting I took to stained glass right away. I enjoy the different textures and colors of glass and how I can combine them to create depth and dimension. John also taught me how to hand bevel glass which I love doing. I ended up working with John for 3 1/2 yrs until he moved to upstate New York. I began my own business January 1996 in Anchorage, AK.