I was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota in Spearfish. That is where I spent long summers doing things that you can do for free or cheaply, like tubing down the glacial creek, walking to the library, reading in my treehouse of three planks of wood nailed in a black walnut tree, or going tent camping. I sketched constantly, and had dreams of becoming a street artist in Florence.
Instead, I attended BHSU and studied painting and drawing with Dick Dubois, transferred briefly to Baylor University, and went back home to finish my art degree. From there, I taught art to high school boys at the Challenge Academy in Waco, then moved to Rapid City and taught at Girls Inc. until my first daughter was born. At that point I discovered that I could work from home as a freelance illustrator and have a life where I get to draw and paint all day AND stay in pajamas! To that end, I have been a freelancer now for twelve years and have illustrated over two dozen books for kids, but my primary love is still painting my own watercolors. I stay busy as an active member of the Northern Plains Watercolor Society, and have added two more kids to the stack as well. They enjoy spending long summers in the Black Hills doing things you can do for free or cheaply.
I did make it to Florence a few summers back as well, and put my dream of being a street artist to rest once and for all. I hadn’t envisioned quite so much standing in the hot sun and selling my art cheaply to tourists when I was a child, which just goes to show you, sometimes the life you’re given is infinitely better than the one you plan for yourself.