Heartfelt Handler II
20 x 16 in.

I consider myself a romantic realist painter. I am so in awe of God’s creations that I can’t wait to capture moments in time and the beauty around us, through light and color. I strive to show feeling and to draw the artist into each of my paintings.

My passion for painting horses comes from being raised on a ranch in California and riding horses all my life. Portraits are also a favorite of mine, as I see character in everyone I meet and can’t wait to capture their personality on canvas. Animals have just as much personality. Being able to create that feeling with paint and brush, is so much of what I strive for.

I have been painting for over 50 years and teaching workshops in the community for over 25 years. I have worked and taught in many mediums, but I consider oils my favorite.

This painting, Heartfelt Handler II, has such a great story behind it, which I couldn’t wait to capture on canvas. My hobby is photography. It comes in real handy for my art. One day I was photographing a wagon train on a three-day mission. When they reached Amador City, CA, I was there and took many pictures. As I was going through my pictures, I noticed this particular picture, where the sun was shinning directly under this lady’s, hand as she seemed very concerned about her sweaty horse. The light spoke to me as God’s hand trying to assure her all would be ok. After finding out later that it was a very hot day and her horse was in some stress, as the water wagon had not arrived yet, she was very concerned. I tried very hard to get that feeling of a sweaty horse and the beautiful light beneath her hand to bring the viewer into the painting and see that concern of the handler. I was very happy with my finished painting. This painting was accepted into the Women Artist of the West 50th Anniversary Exhibition in Tucson, AZ in March-April. I have won many National and International Awards, but I always strive for my next painting to be my best.

My process in each of my paintings begin with a value sketch in my sketch book, to determine the lights, darks and composition. When I am happy with that, I start my work with an underpainting of value, either in red or sometimes browns. I have always said, “I make my paintings better than the photograph”. It may consists of moving things, taking things out, and many times changing the lighting and temperature of color. Color temperature is very important. So, if someone says, “Oh wow it looks like a photograph”, they have no idea how much it may have changed. It’s realistic, yes, but I have used my artist license to make it even better to convey that feeling I have inside of me, that I can’t wait to capture.