In the spirit of The Zen of Seeing, my art experience has always
been about observing, learning, and connecting with the world.
That makes it sound like there have been no changes in my life
but, aaah, “what a long, strange, (roundabout) trip it’s been.”
I had two years of art school instruction, three years of
university liberal arts classes and fine art classes, received
a Bachelor of Art Education degree, became a certified
Montessori teacher, and eventually earned an MFA in
illustration from Syracuse University.
I received on-the-job training in Graphic Design and spent
twelve years working in that field in a variety of positions.
I worked in the Education Department at Sea World creating
exhibit design and developing science education materials for
classroom teachers. For seven years I was a designer at
University Publications, Eastern Michigan University.
Since 1972 I have been a teacher and, over the years, I have
taught a variety of subjects at every level from nursery school
reading and math to senior citizen craft classes. In 1990 I was
hired as a professor at Grand Valley State University. I taught
graphic design, illustration, design history, drawing, and
watercolor painting for twenty-three years.
"Let your eyes fall on whatever happens to be in front of you. It may
be a plant or bush or a tree, or perhaps it is just some grass. Close your eyes for the next five minutes . . .
Now open your eyes and focus on whatever you observed before —
that plant or leaf or dandelion. Look it in the eye, until you feel it looking back at you. Feel that you are alone with it on Earth! That it is the most important thing in the universe, that it contains all the riddles of life and death. It does! You are no longer looking, you are seeing."
Frederick Franck, The Zen of Seeing. 1973
I began working as a freelance artist in 1970 exhibiting and
selling paintings at art fairs, galleries, and juried exhibitions and
taking on illustration projects. I have created illustrations for
individuals, businesses, universities, and publishing companies.
I have been honored by being included in two Society of
Illustrators invitational shows that opened in New York and
then traveled the country for several years.
And now I have come full circle. I am a full-time freelance
artist again working on a new series of paintings, writing and
illustrating a new children’s book, and giving public talks on
the history of advertising, illustration, and design.
I belong to organizations where there are people who inspire
me, help me, tell me when I’m going off track, and push me to
keep on keepin’ on.
Current memberships include:
• Society of Illustrators (educator membership)
• Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
• Michigan Watercolor Society
• Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild
• Ann Arbor Poetry Circle
• Ann Arbor Art Center