I've been sketching everything in sight since I was old enough to hold a pencil, but the thing I wanted to sketch the most has
always been people. When bored in school I would invariably wind up sketching the teacher.
"Betsy! What are you doing? Bring that up here!" she would snap, and I would meekly walk to the front of the class and
hand over the suspect paper. But upon seeing it, she would change her tone and say, "Oh! May I keep that?" And so I figured
that I had a future as an artist.
I've always enjoyed and been fascinated by people. As a television news reporter, I loved interviewing an endless variety of subjects
to learn not only the newsworthy thing that they were doing, but also what motivated them to do it. Human character is a source
of endless interest to me it's what makes the world go around. I still interview and observe people to discover and uncover
the character within. But instead of putting them on video, I now portray my subjects in oils on canvas, producing not fleeting
moments, but keepsakes that capture what I like to think is the essential spirit of the person.
It amazes me how the tilt of a brow, or the curl of a lip or a finger tip sends a message, alters the demeanor, hints at the thoughts
and soul of the person inside. I look for the natural and characteristic gesture, the revealing glance or turn. Then I carefully
select a setting and light that magnify the subject's personality, be it moody, mysterious, or sunny and bright. As the painting
begins, I revel in capturing the play of light as it slowly reveals the forms and textures, changes colors from cool to warm or
reverse. I love the constant selecting and editing what shape is important, what line to leave out, what edge needs softening
or removing altogether? The painting should capture the essence the strength or joy of the character, nothing more.