My Story

From the time I was a kid, I always loved drawing and painting and anything art. In the 4th grade, my mom signed me up for art classes at the Des Moines Art Center. The first class I took was a drawing and painting class. I had been drawing all of my life up to that point, but had not really ever painted with any kind of instruction.  I still remember vividly, after several weeks of drawing, our teacher one day said it was time to break out the paint, (watercolor to be specific) and I was thrilled. From that point on I was hooked on wanting to paint and explore all kinds of art mediums.  I went on to take other classes at the Des Moines Art Center including pottery classes, stain glass art, fabric design, and oil painting. I also really loved that the Des Moines Art Center was a museum first and foremost that had an extensive collection of art.  We got to visit the museum often and see works of art from some of the great masters as well as contemporary art, which as a kid, I always thought was strange, but interesting.

Fast forward to the end of High School and college, I attended a summer program at the Art Institute of Chicago my senior year, and went on to attend Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art. My years at Westminster college were focused mostly on drawing and oil painting.  I loved taking classes such as figure drawing and figure painting, landscape painting, pottery and art history. I also really loved the studio class where we got to paint whatever we wanted, and would meet weekly to show our work and to have a class art critique. One summer during college, I did an internship where I designed and painted the set design for Westminster’s production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”  During college, I also took an art history tour of Europe and visited many of the great art museums and cathedrals in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, and England.

For the past 16 years, I have been teaching art classes for kids of all ages, on and off, while raising a family (with the help of my husband).  We have 4 kids and a dog. During these years I have also enjoyed creating and painting back drop and set designs for my kid’s school plays (“Suessical Jr,” and “Alice in Wonderland”, backdrops can be rented to the public, email me if you are interested).

Currently I do commission work, and in my spare time, paint from any number of subjects that I love.  Oil paint on canvas is my favorite medium; still life and landscape paintings are my favorite subjects.  I have also written art lesson plans for a Home School Curriculum.

Right now, I have a small studio in my basement that stores all of my art stuff, but I love to paint upstairs where the light is best, and I try to paint as much as I can in my free time.  I teach art classes 3 days a week out of my home (see schedule). My dream is to one day have an at home art studio complete with large windows with plenty of light, a pottery wheel, and a kiln.

Wild Root Art Studio

The name of my art studio has special meaning.  It comes from the title of the first painting I ever sold to a non family member back when I was in college.  I showed this painting at my senior art show and sold it to a History professor who attended my Art Show. Unfortunately I never took a picture of this painting, and I’m sad that I didn’t.  The summer prior to selling this painting, I had done an internship at Westminster where I helped design the back drop set design for Westminster’s production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”  It was a beautiful play that was performed up in the mountains of Snowbird Ski Resort. We based the entire set design off of a painting that I had done in my studio art class the semester before.  This painting was of a big tree and its deep root systems. It had bright colors, and a whimsical feel. It almost looked like a stained glass window. The name of the painting was a line from a William Blake poem:

“Around the Springs of Gray my wild root weaves
Traveler repose & Dream among my leaves.”

The History Professor who bought the painting also had been the Director of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  When deciding what I wanted my art studio and Instagram to be called, I went back to my beginnings as a serious artist and the first painting I ever sold to someone not in my family.  It meant a lot to me to sell my work to someone who supported it not because they had to, but I also knew that the painting had special meaning to him.