If you wonder how I come up with so many delightful animal personalities, you have only to look outside my windows.
I've loved the outdoors all my life. I grew up in the creative confusion of a large, artistic family in Dayton, Ohio. Our family went for long walks in the woods every Sunday where my dad taught me to love the shapes and colors of the trees and to watch the spiders weaving their webs. He and I were drawing animals together by the time I was three.
I went on to major in art at Mount Saint Joseph University just outside of Cincinnati. I fell in love with pen and ink drawing, a love which has never left me. I was especially fascinated with the textured patterns I could create in my drawings. This love of texture shows up strongly in my clay work, where I use seashells, lace and seed pods to texture details like owl eyes, turtle shells and bird wings.
I began sculpting animals in clay in 1973 while I was the director of a community art center in Loveland, Ohio. In 1975 my husband, Joe, and I were so attracted by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains that we moved to a small valley near Boone, NC, to raise our daughter and craft a life.
Soon after this move, I expanded my line of miniature animal sculptures to meet the growing demand of the collectors who visit our mountains each year. As the word spread, Little Guys found their way into fine gift shops and craft galleries all across the USA. I still pinch the personality into each one myself and hand draw each little smile.
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I find strength in my faith, my family, my friends and a few special volunteer projects. Each year I organize a small multicultural festival where kids and adults can side by side learn about differences and celebrate our common humanity. For many years I helped to illustrate a small children's magazine. Then I wrote and illustrated two books about virtues for children. These drawings celebrate my vision for the children of the world— laughing, caring and sharing with each other as loving and beloved members of one human family. I continue to draw whimsical illustrations of multicultural children, families and animals celebrating the diversity in our world.
Thank you for your interest in my work and my story.