Hello! I’m an artist, retired art teacher, amateur genealogist, photography and sewing enthusiast, and animal and wildlife advocate in Virginia. I’ve lived in this general area most of my life and I used to hang out–as a teenager–at the private school where I taught for 23 years. I guess this shows that I haven’t strayed too far from home over the years! I was one of “those” types during high school–you know, the art, music, drama, literary magazine, philosophy club sort. I really haven’t strayed too far from “home” over the years in those ways, either!
I graduated magna cum laude from Bridgewater College in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where I earned a BA in Studio Art and had elective credits in just about everything else. To me, a liberal arts education is like a smorgasboard for the mind. I’m intensely curious, I’ve always loved to think, and I’ve always loved to learn. Still do.
I worked in a therapeutic rec field with elderly and handicapped adults for several years after I graduated from college, and it was a wonderfully rewarding experience. One Halloween, the residents and I wrote and acted in a short play and invited preschool children to the nursing facility to see it.
After my sons were born, I stayed home until they were both in school. During those years I did a LOT of commissioned artwork, designed and marketed cross-stitch kits (with retailers in three states), and first began learning about computers, while doing recordkeeping (from home) for small businesses. I also went back to school to become licensed to teach Art in grades K-12.
I started working in a public elementary school in 1992, and from 1999 until 2022 I taught art at the private college-prep school where the movie “Toy Soldiers” was filmed! The movie was made in 1991–eight years before I started at the school–but click here for some cool behind-the-scenes pictures taken by a former teacher and pics of some memorabilia that was left behind!)
While I have not had the opportunity to travel the world, the world came to me in the two schools in which I worked! It was my joy and my privilege to get to know children from South Korea, China, Vietnam, India, Russia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Madagascar, France, Brazil, Lithuania, Spain, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Iran, and others.
Jimmy Carter said, “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” It has been my experience, however, that the individuals within this mosaic have far more similarities than differences; we can learn so much from each other.
I treasure each piece of the world that touched me through the lives of my students. Those beautiful, crazy, and totally art-rageous kids truly enriched my life. ♥
Song Lyrics & Poetry