I was born in the early 60's in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. My family moved often when I was a child, and I learned early on that the world is a wide and wonderful place to explore. In 1979, we moved to Bonn, Germany. I was a teenager, determined to be an artist, surrounded by the greatest art treasures in the world. For Christmas that year my brother gave me a book called 'Italic Handwriting for Young People'. That book sparked a lifelong interest in calligraphy/letter arts and I taught myself as much as I could by looking at and copying from illuminated manuscripts and from Edward Johnston's book 'Writing, Illuminating and Lettering'.
I graduated from Bonn American High School and returned to the States for my college years. I completed my BFA degree from the University of Tulsa (Oklahoma) in 1986 with an emphasis in ceramics, thanks to the guidance of my mentor and friend, Tom Manhart. Because of its reputation as a hotbed for contemporary ceramics, I headed to Montana for graduate school. I completed my MFA degree from the University of Montana in 1989. All these years later I am still happily living and raising my family in beautiful Missoula.
Calligraphy took a back burner during the 'ceramic' years, but after graduation I felt compelled to go back to it. I signed up for a local continuing education class, my first formal calligraphy class, taught by Sally Sanders. Through that class I joined the Missoula Calligrapher's Guild, and began participating in as many workshops and classes as I could. I was so inspired after one particularly wonderful workshop taught by Peter Thornton, that I quit my job, determined to become a professional calligrapher. Two weeks later I was offered a job doing graphics for a local sign company (an offer too good to refuse) and again calligraphy went back to it's place as my hobby. I continued to study and attend workshops, and have been lucky enough to take classes from many great calligraphers. In addition to Sally and Peter, my teachers have included Carl Rohrs, Yves Leterme, Brody Neuenschwander, Denis Brown, Julian Waters, Sheila Waters, Martin Jackson, Mike Gold, Mike Kecseg, Yukimi Annand, Annie Cicale, Eleanor Winters, Nancy Culmone, Alan Blackman, Anne Cowie and John Stevens, among others.
In 2009, after a Carl Rohrs workshop , I began getting up early to work in the studio before going to work every day. Since then I have spent nearly every morning from 3:00am - 6:00am, honing my skills and creating my art work. By attending conferences, private tutorials and through pilgrimages to Cheerio Calligraphy Retreats in North Carolina, to study with world reknowed artists, I continue to fuel my passion for the letter arts.
Today my efforts are focused on finding my own voice amongst all of those powerful influences, and on creating work that is uniquely mine.