I attended the University of Texas in Austin, with the intention of studying art. Unfortunately my professors were so focused on the concept behind the art that they never thought to teach us how to draw/paint/you name it.
I met and married my husband (David) my last year of college (acquiring 2 step-daughters in the process, Sophie and Maddie - see image to right, the one picture from our wedding in 2000). David kindly supported me and my art after graduation, and I spent about 5 years doing one giant bad painting after another (since one thing I did learn in college was you had to paint big), and being thoroughly depressed about it.
Apparently I learned a bit on my own through trial and error, because eventually I got into my favorite gallery in Austin, TX. Unfortunately I never earned what could be considered a living (even when I was in 7 galleries!). A couple of years later David and I adopted our son, Jacob (below, left, 5 days old). I didn’t paint much after that, until he was 1½ and a friend sent me an article about daily painting.
The idea was to do one small painting each day, post it on my blog, and sell it in auction. I started painting during Jacob’s naps, and quickly fell in love with the process! I slowly built up a following and started selling my daily paintings. I was finally making a living with my art! After about 6 months I got my first invitation to teach, then my second, and soon had sold-out workshops all over the US and Canada.
In 2006 my husband and I started a small online gallery (Daily Paintworks) featuring 12 daily painters, but after he lost his job in 2008, David decided to make it something more artists could benefit from. Now we have quite a few more artists, host our own auctions, tutorials, weekly challenges, monthly contest and more.
In 2011 we lost our house in a forest fire (a lot of people helped us through that, for which we are eternally grateful!!), and moved from Texas to Oregon. We are having quite an adventure here. Meanwhile I paint, Jacob goes to school, David is always improving Daily Paintworks, Maddie repaints dolls, and Sophie takes care of our granddaughter, Nina.
I have created several books - collections of 100 of my favorite daily paintings each. I have also just written a book for Random House called Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist that can now be pre-ordered through Amazon. I also have a collection of ArtBytes (online tutorials) for purchase (some are free - check them out). And here are some answers to frequently asked questions. I think that's it. : )