I have a small home studio in Acton, Maine. Acton is a small town in Southern Maine bordering New Hampshire. It’s way out in the country, and is quiet and peaceful here (most of the time). My studio tends to get a bit cramped from time to time, but I love it! It allows me to work from home and take care of my kids.
All my originals are made with watercolor paints. I begin each painting by lightly drawing guidelines in with a pencil, and then paint them over and over with many washes to work up a vibrant glow of color. I then complete all the details in the painting with a very fine and very tiny brush. I do not use any white paint, acrylic paint, or any kind of pen and ink in my paintings. To really understand how I paint you can watch my video "Fun Watercolor Painting of Dog Dish Dilemma".
My passion for watercolors began when I was only 10 years old. My parents wanted to help but didn't paint themselves, so they handed me over to my Great Aunt. My Great Aunt Dot taught adult watercolor classes. She was the one who introduced the traditional ways of watercolor painting to me. However, I credit my youth and life experience for developing my unique style of painting. This was due to my lack of fear of making a mess and ultimately failing, which I later discovered, was the primary hindrance for her adult students. I was okay with pushing the limits of the paint on the paper and if I made a mess of things then I learned from it. I learned just how many washes I could pile on top of each other before the gorgeous translucent glow of the colors turned to mud. It took me many years to master this technique, and now it's become an essential part of my paintings.
Thanks to my time spent with my Great Aunt Dot, my watercolor techniques were defined by the time I went to school. During that time in my life, my interest was in learning how to educate others. So I went on to attend the University of Southern Maine and graduated with my bachelors in teaching with a focus in the visual arts.
I used to teach adult watercolor classes all the time when I was a school teacher through adult education programs and loved it! Unfortunately once I started having kids I had to cut back on my night classes. Now I occasionally teach beginning watercolor classes out of my house to those who live locally. I hope to introduce online classes to my website in the near future. If this is something that interests you, please contact me and let me know!
Another good question, one I get asked quite often! I think it’s due to the illustrative quality of my paintings and my answer is, not yet. I certainly hope to in the near future though. It’s on my bucket list!
Personalizations are only available on commissioned original paintings. Prints are sold as is. Sorry!
Giclee, pronounced (zhee-CLAY), is a high resolution reproduction created on a special large format printer. They are made from digital scans of existing artwork. Colors in a giclee print are so vibrant and true that it is often mistaken for the original artwork, which makes it the closest to an original painting you can get! These are not your typical everyday printers. These printers must use pigmented ink which is the best among all inks; they are more vibrant , fade resistant, and water resistant. It is also crucial for the giclee to be printed on archival materials whether it be paper or canvas to insure the highest quality that is sure to not fade for many years to come.
I do not use a service, however there are a lot of great services to choose from. I have found that it was worth my time and investment to purchase the proper tools and equipment to create the high quality products that I am proud to put my name on. That being said, I print, mat, and frame all of my archival prints in my studio.
Unfortunately, I am unable to print for other people as I find trying to keep up with my own printing needs is a full time job in itself!
I chose to go with a wide format inkjet printer that specifically meets the needs for my watercolors. However; if you are in the market for something for your own business I would highly recommend doing some deep investigation into the wide variety of printer options available in the market these days. Be sure to talk to a printer professional, tell them not only what you want to print today, but also what your long term goals are for printing; they should be able to direct you to what best fits your business needs.
Ah, good question! It took a lot of time, research, and trial and error to find what worked best with my art. I like to consider my frames as a secret ingredient to my designs. I can tell you that they are an American made product that I am proud to offer.
I do not sell my frames separately.
If you are a customer in search of these products you can also check out the same links to the manufacturers to discover a list of retail stores and their location.
Yes, I do sell my matted and framed prints wholesale. You can read about my terms here on my wholesale page. I’m also happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me at (207) 459-6668.
I designed the pages of my website myself but needed the help of a trusted web developer to do all the techie things to make my ideas come to life. I interviewed several candidates and chose to go with After Five By Design and could not be happier with my decision! They set up the backend of my website so that I can add and remove articles and control the content to my specific needs. My website is set up on Joomla and my ecommerce is run through Mojo. I would highly recommend Todd Morissette and his team of experts for all of your website needs.
Developing my brand was and is by far the hardest part of my business. In the beginning I changed my logo six times in three years. Committing to something was very scary for me. To help me define my look I created a few guidelines: everything needed to be made in watercolors, all designs were to be fun and whimsical and most importantly I needed to set myself apart from all other artists. This has treated me well over the years as I am regularly noticed for my unique look with not only my artwork, but also my website and my booth set-up at shows. This is certainly an ongoing process that I am forever fine tuning year after year. I feel that if I can build my own unique niche then I will not fall into the typical trends that come and go, but rather have a business that sticks around for years to come.
Excellent question! Time is by far my biggest obstacle. Because I work from home, I try to work every spare minute I can get. Unfortunately during the day those minutes are a rare commodity. My days are quickly filled with household chores, errands, and taking care of my four beautiful daughters. So most of my work gets done in the evening after everyone else has gone to bed. When I’m away at shows my fantastic husband holds down the fort and takes care of the house and kids.
Everything I have learned has been from trial and error. If you try something and it doesn't work then learn from it and adjust accordingly without delay! Too many times I watch artists struggle to sell something refusing to move on to their next great idea. Do not wait! Follow your passion and your ideas. It's usually the best way to define your own style. Remember it’s okay if you don’t always succeed. What’s important is that you learn from your creative endeavors and apply that knowledge to your future ones. It’s so important to do what you love and not give up! I’m a passionate believer if you keep trying something good always comes of it. :)