As the daughter of an artist and art teacher (see "art of Josephine C. Brett), I grew up immersed in art. I spent endless hours drawing, making tableaus with my gummy shapes and “Fuzzy Felt” pieces, and designing paper doll clothes.
I also attended my mothers’ classes in the attic of our old house in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I created colorful tempura paintings, alas, all lost in one of my moves. In the fourth grade, I won the “Lower School Art Award.” I was a good student in more traditional subjects, too. While my sister went on to art school to become a fashion designer, my parents labeled me the “academic one.” Art then became a sideline to those academic pursuits although never entirely disappearing from my life. I eagerly visited art museums in the USA and Europe and audited art history courses in college (after doing rather poorly in my first official art history course). One summer, I was the arts and crafts instructor at a day camp.
After college, with more time available, I became an adult education junkie, taking arts and crafts courses one after another over the years—watercolor, bookbinding, Chinese brush painting, printmaking, candlemaking, pottery, and photography—the one that piqued my interest the most and also introduced me to my future husband (my instructor in a darkroom techniques course). I even made some money through my photography.
More recently, as my self-employment gave me flexibility, I have taken courses in paper collage, fabric collage, and watercolor painting, studying the latter with Jean Carbonetti, Robert Noreika, Paul George, Lisa Goren, Nan Feldman, and Janet Hobbs. Now, collage and watercolors, along with my ongoing interest in photography, form the core of my artistic pursuits.
As I have wound down my paid work life, I have the gift of time to be creative. I live with my photographer husband John in Somerville, Massachusetts. When not making art (or attempting to downsize), I enjoy writing fiction, keeping a blog on downsizing, dancing to live music, going to museums and theater, and traveling, which provides me with endless subject matter. My "Japan Series" is inspired by my travels there many decades ago and my upcoming novel, Gina in the Floating World (She Writes Press, 2018).