It’s a beautiful day today and I just want to give a shout-out to some of the very special mentors in my life.
We were a very lucky family when I was growing up – four generations under one roof. Yes, I even remember my great-grandmother and the life lessons she would teach me. My gutsiness came from my grandmother who taught voice in our home studio and turned people who never thought they could sing into accomplished performers. My mother and father were hard-working, enterprising professionals in the textile business building relationships with top designers like Edith Head and bringing the finest fabrics to fashion-conscious enthusiasts in Marin County and San Francisco. Mom raised me to believe I could do anything I set my mind to. But it was my grandfather – an engineer, architect, poet, and artist who taught me to love art, giggle and appreciate hand-drawn cartoons of artists like Wilhelm Busch, and to understand some of the basics of painting. I would spend hours in my grandfather’s studio and he would drive me to the Marin Society of Artists in Ross as a small child, where I would take crafts classes. Little did I know then that years later, I would be exhibiting my own paintings at Marin Open Studios in that very same place.
Over the years some excellent teachers have opened my eyes: First of all, my husband Russ. It’s a joy to hang out with him and see what he captures in his photography and videos. At College of Marin I started studying art with Chester Arnold. His profound paintings carry important messages about society today. A trip with my husband to the Maine Media Workshops introduced me to photography instructor Joe Baraban, who taught me about light, the most important element in photography and painting. He also taught me about Gestalt, perspective, visual tension and I’ll share with you this important point: “You find the light, you’ll find the shot.” Light is everything! And a very special shout out to my mentor with whom I have been studying the past couple of years, Novato-based artist Carol Smith Myer, creator of luminous oil paintings.
So in keeping with my philosophy of living life with an attitude of gratitude, I say thank you to my friends, my family and my mentors.