In art, making time to experiment and play brings joy and wonder.
This is especially true when using alcohol inks, which have a mind of their own. Sometimes the medium cooperates. Other times - despite our artistic intent - the painting exhibits a will all its own, teaching us about curiosity, patience and trust in the process. This also brings a whole new level of satisfaction once we see the result.
As a fearless alcohol ink and mixed-media artist who loves to experiment, I encourage the same in art classes with my students.
I haven't had a student yet who leaves one of my classes not loving a piece of artwork they created - having become totally engaged with the creative cycle.
I empower students to find their inner child, play and create.
About the Artist
I didn't really do much art as a kid. But thinking back, it's been all around me for as long as I can remember. For example, Mom had beautiful perennial beds. Though weeding wasn't my favorite chore, I delighted in the colors, shapes and textures in her garden.
A childhood love of texture and color, now expressed in my own gardens and in my art
Creative expression has always been a part of my life. I learned early on that I loved music; I sang and played guitar. I have always been a voracious reader with a true appreciation for the craft of storytelling.
My family also values all that is creative
My husband Charlie, a professional photographer, owns Charles Dean Photography here in Mount Dora.
Charlie and I raised a wonderful son, Jason, who is an exceptionally talented tattoo artist in New York. You can see his work here.
So how did I get to art? As an outlet for stress, about 10 years ago, while working as a human resources leader in the hospital and healthcare industry. It worked. The only thing now that may be better than letting my imagination soar in front of a canvas is teaching others to do the same and seeing them relax, explore and let go.
Path to teaching art
- I am, for the most part, self-taught: art books, YouTube and online classes.
- Working in acrylics and creating mixed-media pieces were my first loves.
- I discovered alcohol inks via Facebook posts by Karen Walker and June Rollins, and signed up for their online courses.
- Others who have impacted my artistic career in inks: Sandy Sandy, Alexis Bonavitacola, Francine Dufour, Sheryl Williams, Sharen AK Harris and Terri Jones.
- With inks as my main medium, I still use acrylics and now, encaustics and Pebeo - incorporating them with ink in mixed-media pieces.
- A major influencer in my career has been artist Bev Neal, owner of Painting Outside the Lines Gallery in Mount Dora, who introduced me to the community during a local art walk. It was Bev who encouraged me to take on gallery space and teach classes.
I love to teach weekly classes, where I get to see students discover a love for art and develop their own style, as I did - and continue to take creative risks, which lead to great accomplishment, satisfaction and beauty.
My Main Support
My business would not be successful without the support of Charles, my husband of 38 years.