I have loved to create my entire life. Every great artist has to start somewhere. For me my first foray into the arts and craft world was ... making mud pies. There the secret is out.
As far as painting goes, I am originally from Denmark, and when I was 12 years old I painted roses on a piece of paper. MY mother took this design and, unbeknownst to me, sent it to my grand-parents in Denmark. One day, on a trip to Denmark to visit family, I noticed that the roses I had painted were on top of the mantle in my grandparent’s home. It made me feel very special. This helped nurture my love of drawing and painting, both of which I wanted to pursue. My dream was to pursue a career in art but my family couldn’t afford it. So like so many of us, I took a bit of a winding path to get there. First, I became a hairdresser, which required a somewhat different type of creativity.
Then I married and had children, and my focus became my family. Eventually, I began taking art classes at night. This was my formal introduction into the art world. It was there that I learned about perspective, shading, water color, oil painting, etc. However over the years, I came to realized that professional instructors can help you learn important, basic techniques, but they can also "stifle people". "Sometimes unawareness of how to do a technique can make a person really creative. While living life raising kids I was into lots of different crafts I've enjoyed rubber stamps, macrame, wood working, Decorative painting, fabric painting, Jewelry making, Cross stitch, crochet, knitting and faux finishing.
I learned to do a lot in 2 hour increments when my children would be taking their naps. It was my window of crafting opportunity. I had given my paintings away as gifts when I was taking classes so it was a natural transition to gear my crafting into gifts.
Being an ex hairdresser who enjoyed having tip money I also used my creativity to earn extra money for trips with the kids and gifts for my husband by selling at Craft fairs and boutiques.
I began my Professional Career in the Craft Industry at Duncan Enterprises. A friend of mine Chris Wallace was a designer and spokesperson for the company. I had actually met Chris over 34 years ago when our children became friends in kindergarten. I would often admire the gifts (especially the decorative painted ones) that Chris would send along to the teacher for special occasions.
When I learned that Chris taught painting classes I was delighted It seemed the next logical step for my Creative Expressions. So, over the next ten plus years, I perfected my painting skills.
Making and selling my hand crafted gifts has been a very rewarding part of my creativity. I especially enjoyed the folk art styles from the different countries; they were painted on pieces that were practical
When I went to work at Duncan (thanks to my connection with Chris.) I began working as an independent contractor and it evolved from there. I worked at Duncan for over 7 years and I had the title of Senior Designer and Glue Spokesperson. At the time I so enjoyed working there. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid for doing what I loved to do. I even had the opportunity to travel and appear on a number of Television shows geared toward Home Dec. and Crafting like Arlene’s Creative Living, where I would demonstrate a variety of projects.
When I retired for Duncan Enterprise, I had a number of things I wanted to do one of the areas that I want to learn about was Graphic Design So when I retired for Duncan Enterprise I started teaching myself Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. That has opened a whole new world of creative expression.
A blast from the past: My very first Magazine cover. I love those Bunnies!