I was born and raised in Fort Smith. I moved away a few times throughout my life, but I always found myself drawn back to the unique beauty of this town. I particularly love the slow paced lifestyle, the quiet surroundings and how easy it is to spend time outdoors.
I started painting about a year ago when a friend invited me to a paint night. I’ve always been a very creative person, so it was a great way to be reminded of that. I loved the experience so much, I’ve been learning more ever since. Painting relaxes me and it makes me feel good, especially in the evening when it’s quieter.
As a young girl, my room was always full of tons and tons of paper because I had to make whatever Mr. Dressup made – so I’d say he might have been my first artistic influence! But childhood mentors aside, my biggest inspiration is nature. I always want to see more of it and figure out how to paint what I see. The learning process can be tough sometimes, but I find it fun. I often start my projects by visualizing what I want to paint, so when I walk outside or when I drive somewhere, I try to pay attention to my surroundings to catch glimpses of image I’d like to paint.
I currently use acrylic paint, but I’ve seen other artists pull colors through very well with oil paint, so I am curious to explore in that way as well. I like to work with dark or really bold colors, so it seems only fitting that northern lights are my biggest inspiration. I love how bright they are. As a kid, I would walk around with my cousin in the fall and stare at them in the sky. Learning to paint them has been challenging sometimes, but that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. If I could paint them over and over, I would.
Not surprisingly, one of my favorite creations so far is a painting of the northern lights. I’ve sold the original to my aunt, but I still use the image for prints. People seem to love it, and that inspired me to print my favorite pieces on different items. My next step is to print my three most popular paintings on magnets, leggings and other items of clothing.