When I was a kid, I was always drawing and painting, making craft projects, making up stories, dances - whatever - making STUFF. At some point in high school I remember becoming frustrated that I couldn't draw something and make it look the way I wanted it to. My Dad, who also had a lifelong love for painting and drawing, offered to find me an art teacher outside of school.
I began taking classes with a local painter/illustrator, Evelyn Leavens, who taught kids and teens out of her home. After a short time in a general drawing class, I was invited to join her life painting class. It was heaven! Painting live nudes in oils in a basement for several hours at a time. I wish I had known at the time how important it was that I was enjoying this type of artwork, because it would be another 25 years before I had that much fun again being lost in the process of creating art.

Thanks to Evelyn's mentoring I created a portfolio that gave me my choice of art schools. I chose the one with the most visual art majors - Syracuse University - because even though I loved painting, there were so many choices of different media and types of design. I was going to try them all. (I did not.)

I ended up in a program that was basically self-designed and directed, mostly because the wide array of choices left me unable to focus on any one medium. In Experimental Studios I was able to design my own projects each semester and learned mainly that I could learn most things on my own, and didn't really need to be in school. But I stayed and graduated with a BFA. At some point I took a couple of painting classes, both of which ruined my love of painting for the next several decades.

Over the next 20 years or so, I made very little art. I made a lot of lists about ideas for projects, and bought tons of art supplies thinking I'd start some of them, but with the exception of the odd birthday gift here and there, not much actual art got created.

In my late 20's I managed to extricate myself from a decade of retail management and became a graphic and web designer. At least I was doing something creative and getting paid for it. This made me feel better about the whole not-making-art thing for quite a while.

But in 2013, all of my frustration came to a head and I enrolled in Jill Badonsky's Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching certification program. Everything I write about on this site is a result of learning the Kaizen-Muse creativity coaching skills to overcome creative block, resistance, and perfectionism. I was certified as a coach, but since I still work full-time to support my family, I eventually realized my true love is painting (and drawing and illustration) and there just weren't enough hours in the day to focus on creating art AND creating a part-time coaching business.

And for now that works for me. This past year I sold my first commissioned painting, so I feel like I'm on the right path. This site is about that creative journey.