As a young artist, I remember coloring a desert scene with pastels in my 4th grade class at Grant School, Salt Lake City, Utah. I was respected and praised by the grade school teachers and began to develop my style as an artist then. When I became a teenager I needed a tool to cope with and to add color to my dysfunctional life, so I bought oil paints, brushes, and a canvas. I worked through my problems by adding color to my canvas and created meaningful expressions of myself. I especially became captivated by the Keane’s paintings that hung in my room. I brought magic to my paintings during the Holidays and am particularly fond of “Realism” and painting children’s portraits and people. They bring out the best in me.
Gallery showings: As an active member of the Oregon Society of Artists, I exhibit my paintings semiannually in their gallery. I have also exhibited my paintings at NAMI Multnomah’s “Music and Art for the Mind Show,” North Clackamas Arts Guild Show, US Bank on 16th and Weilder in Portland, Oregon, Sandy’s Art Farm Cafe, and First Friday in Milwaukie for NAMI Clackamas.
My work experience has been teaching “youth america” as a Preschool teacher and helping people with debilitating diseases for 20 years. I have been a lecturer for NAMI Multnomah in a psych ward and an In Our Own Voice speaker for six years presenting my life’s story and giving meditation exercises. Work in the mental health field helps me to appreciate the real value of mental health. I have written a memoir and feel deeply saddened about the tragedy and all that goes on in the world and hope to make a positive impact with the expression with my arts.
On February 18, 2011, I was honored to have a photo op with President Obama with a group of chosen ladies from Ladies in Blue, OFA. In 1971, I fought for equal pay and in 1972, received a reimbursement settlement and statement from Oregon’s attorney general for my equal pay rights.
Previous writing- “Joao Pessoa- My Favorite City and Why?” in Authors of Tomorrow, Canada: Elder & Leeemaur-Publishers, 2006. Article written in March 2013 edition of NAMI Voice called “Bringing Peace and Happiness to the Psych Ward.”