My love and interest in decorative painting began in 1972 when my friend Jackie Fox took me to the home of Milly Smith for classes. It was just at the time Milly was beginning her new books and the wonderful examples of decorative painting projects were a treat for my eyes. I spent the next few years just enjoying the hobby and began teaching for Jackie when she opened her own shop in Hillsboro, Oregon.
After years of gymnastics, 4-H and school activities with the kids were complete, I began designing packets in 1993 and my first book was published in 1995 by Trafton-Thompson. My designs reflect the things I know-the rural cottage and farm scenes of Farmington where I grew up; and Pumpkin Ridge, the area we have lived for 33 years. (Both of these communities are outside Hillsboro, Oregon where I met and married my husband, Jerry, over 40 years ago.)
The Santas I paint are cheerful guys because in my childhood of the 50's the Coca-Cola Santa was the main 'jolly one' rather than the stern Victorian Santas. I even put a smile on a jack-o-lantern, rather than a scary scowl. Yes, even the animals have personalities, because ours do!
For many years I have been blessed to be involved in this wonderful industry where I could meet painters from all across the country and make new friends while enjoying my gifts for painting and designing. As I approach semi-retirement, I will continue to teach a few seminars now and then. Someday, we may even have painters' retreats here on Pumpkin Ridge. But now, our new construction, the Dexters (see newsletter) and most importantly OUR TEENAGER take most of our time.
Our Jamie continues to swim for high school swim team, water polo and is a lifeguard at the pool. I'm most proud of that achievement and her excellent work ethic. At 16 she's driving and "on the go" continually needs to be busy. Grandma & Grandpa are still needed to be home and supervise her many pursuits. Our daughter, Kim, and husband Mark (12/2002) are close by in Beaverton. Mark works for Intel and Kim is a wonderful nurse at Meridian Park Hospital. Mark and Kim's hobby is photography and they have blessed us with many beautiful family photos. We are also happy to have Mark's daughter, Genee, join our family. She's 14 and we love to go to plays together. Without my son Jeff, I'm computer illiterate and he graciously helps me get things on line. He administers a network of systems for other business and his own and is gifted in his area. He's our family comedian and general great guy!
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