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I have no idea when I started drawing, but I do know that I was very young. I remember that my mother and most of my siblings could draw. My father would draw stick figures to entertain us. It’s ironic that later in life, at age 90, my father became a very prolific visual artist.


When I was eight years old, I drew a picture of Margaret O’Brien, a child actor, who was exactly my. age. I saw a photo of her in the newspaper and drew an enlarged copy of it. My father thought it was excellent and he encouraged me, much to my dismay, to send the drawing to Margaret O’Brien at her Hollywood studio. I thought the drawing was pretty good, but I didn’t’ think copying a photo was “real art.” I sent the drawing to MGM Studios and very shortly thereafter received an autographed glossy photo of my childhood idol, Margaret O’Brien. I kept that photo in a box of mementos and took it with me where I lived. In 1989, I lost my keepsake to Hurricane Hugo.

My family had begun to call me “the artist” and anytime a family member needed a visual of a thought, an experience, or whatever, they called on “the artist” to draw it. I truly loved drawing and doing all sorts of art projects with my siblings. Many of which were motivated by my mother. It was a way of expressing myself that gave me the impetus to continue drawing throughout out my school year.


My mother sewed all of our clothing and she crocheted and did appliqué and embroidery. Once our clothing was constructed, she drew and she embellished our clothing with her needlework. It was natural for me to do the same. I never gave it a second thought; I just did it. I drew patterns of clothing that I would later sew for myself to wear to high school basketball parties.

My father was a musician at night. And a carpenter, cabinetmaker during the day. The first time he described a chest that he was going to make for a client, I drew it for him using the dimensions he needed. I just loved going into his workshop. And drawing the furniture that he crafted from that lovely smelling wood. This experience ushered in my feelings of becoming an architect. I was proficient in math and I thought that I would ether become an architect or a math teacher.


Drawing for me moved toward the mechanical side of the art and I took one art class in high school: mechanical drawing. This class supported my notion of working in. the architectural field and I found myself uninterested in drawing fee hand. As life would have it, I did not pursue architecture or math.

Drawing for me moved toward the mechanical side of the art and I took one art class in high school: mechanical drawing. This class supported my notion of working in. the architectural field and I found myself uninterested in drawing fee hand. As life would have it, I did not pursue architecture or math.


I did not do any art for many, many years. I actually forgot that I could draw and when I mentioned it to a friend of mine, she surprised me with a Christmas present of a starter set of oils, canvases, brushes and an easel. The following February we had a major snowfall on New York City that prevented me from going to work. I took out my starter set and began to paint a still life of eucalyptus in a clay bottle. My co-worker, also home from work, walked across town to visit me. When he saw the canvas, still fairly incomplete, he asked why I had not mentioned that I was taking art classes. I was flattered! It was then I believed my talent had not left, but had become dormant by the busyness of life.

In 1972, I gave birth to my daughter. As my parents did for me, I took her to museums, I bought her crayons and watercolors and coloring books and did various art projects with her. We did paper-mâché, paper dolls, and felt and yarn projects. She loved it as I did. Besides giving her the tools to do art, it piqued my desire to do art for myself. I began to make art for my daughter and greeting cards for her birthdays and special occasions.


We moved to St. Croix in 1978. And I taught English at Central High School Then my card making mushroomed into cards for family and friends. My colleagues teased me, asking me how I could have the time to make cards and grade papers, as well. I realized that my card making had also become a meditation for me. After the rigors of checking homework, essays, and test papers, I made cards. I began to package them and send them as gifts to everyone I knew. They represented me, the joy in my heart. And a simple thing like a greeting card had become so meaningful to so many.


One recipient of my cards was a very dear friend in New York City, who asked if she could buy packages of my cards to send to her other friends. She said she wanted to make them as happy. as I had made her. I began to make them at Christmastime and mail them to her each year. She encouraged me to sell them on St. Croix. Compass Rose on Company Street was my first client. Making money from my art is surely a feather in my hat. And as much as I am grateful for the monetary recognition, I work on perfecting my craft because I love doing it. I continue to make cards. About fifteen years ago, I moved to increasingly larger formats. I consider myself a self-taught artist, a work in progress, learning and growing, and always open and receptive to the guidance of Spirit.

I am truly grateful for my talent, even when I am having an artist’s block and I’m searching for just the right idea or medium to express myself. It always surprises me, yet warms my heart when someone recognizes and appreciates my work.


What started as a hobby for me has grown into a small business. My collages interpret themes of family, community and celebration. Silhouettes of African fabric and paper combined with acrylic, gouache or watercolor, metal, wood, and other findings are used to create mixed media creations, which represent the oneness of us all. I have exhibited solo and also in many group exhibits. I’ve shown my work on St. Croix, in a group exhibit on St. Thomas with my father and in several solo and group exhibits in cities in the United States.


I have viewed the work of the masters and I appreciate what I see. Romare Bearden, Frida Kahlo, Picasso and Matisse inspire me, as do the many talented artists here on St. Croix. I learn the most when I am exposed to other artists, be it visual, theatre, literature, or music. When I participate in any form of the arts, I begin to learn more about the world I live in and the beings who inhabit my world. I believe that we are all one and from that perspective, I can embrace the embodiment of another artist’s feeling for life.


I look forward to the space and time in craft when I do art for the sake of doing it, without the goal of an exhibit or a commission motivating me. I believe that is when I can call myself the “artist.”

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