I've had a life-long love of picture books. As a child, my favorite things
were reading, drawing (especially animals), coloring, cutting and pasting,
putting puzzles together, dreaming of far-off places, and allowing my
imagination to soar. As an adult, my favorite things are drawing and
painting my own pictures for books and greeting cards, creating art for
puzzles, visiting far-off places and allowing my imagination to soar.
Early inspiration came from my grandmother, who was also my
kindergarten teacher. (She did, however, make me color inside the lines!)
In 1984 I received a B.A. with High Honors in Graphic Design and
Illustration from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. As a
comprehensive art major, I also concentrated my studies on photography and
worked as a freelance photographer for several years following graduation.
In 1985 I officially began my career as a Professional Illustrator by
working as a staff artist for Good Apple Publishing Company in Carthage,
Illinois. I worked there for the next five years.
During my employment at Good Apple I began freelancing by creating
illustrations for the greeting card market on assignment. The World
Wildlife Federation chose my illustration entitled "Peaceful Kingdom" as a
part of the Helping Hand Holiday Card Collection. I continue to create
illustrations for the greeting card market.
In 1991 I left my position with Good Apple and officially began my full-time
freelance career. I began creating art for children's floor puzzles for
Judy Instructo. "Life in the Coral Reefs" received the 1992 Editor's Choice
Award from Early Childhood News. This was the beginning of what would
become a major development in my career as I began creating commissioned art
for 1000-piece puzzles for Great American Puzzle Factory.
I was commissioned by Ravensburger/F.X. Schmid to illustrate game boards and
box covers for children's games. "Elephant Ride" received the Oppenheim Toy
Portfolio Gold Seal "Best Toy" Award and the "Toy of the Year" 1999
Parenting Winner Award from Parenting Magazine. I have also created
commissioned art for adult and children's puzzles for Ravensburger/F.X.
Schmid. My most recent work is a series of art for 1000-piece "shaped"
puzzles of animals.
Puzzles of my art have appeared in National Geographic, National Wildlife,
and The Smithsonian Gift Catalogue, as well as other gift catalogues and
nature stores. Elms Puzzle in Maine is currently crafting some of my
illustrations from mahogany for puzzles.
In 1995 I illustrated my first picture book, "The Birth of A Whale" by John
Archambault, which won a 1996 National Parenting Publications Gold Award.
Since then I have co-authored and illustrated many books and products
for the educational market, including "Turtle Song," also by John
Archambault and released by Childcraft Education Corporation in 2006
I author/illustrated my first picture book, a reinterpretation of the
classic story "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse," released in 2005. My
latest book, "There Was an Old Woman," will be released in early 2008. Both
titles are available through Childcraft Education Corporation.
My illustrations are created using traditional watercolor and airbrush.
Recently I've also begun working digitally, discovering the infinite possibilities of
using Photoshop to enhance existing illustrations or to create new ones.
My love of nature and animals along with a strong background in photography
has helped immensely in the organization of my collection of over 3,000
slides and photographs of animals and natural scenes, which I use as
reference material for paintings. I get inspiration from my travels and
firsthand, up-close experiences. Being able to experience the feeling of a
tiger's fur or a dolphin's moist skin allows me to be able to translate the
emotional and physical aspect of the subject into my painting, something
which cannot be achieved by just looking at a photograph.
My art exhibits a passion for nature, which grows from an idealistic view of
the world. I consider my art "quasi-realism" with a whimsical depiction of
I have worked for a variety of clients and my illustrations also appear on
journals, note cards and stationary, needlework, decorative flags, holiday
themed decorations and puppets.
An artist is always speaking to the child in each of us, to our sense of
open wonder and creativity. I hope my art will make you smile, laugh, and
warm your heart in some way.
From my heart to yours...