I’ve always felt my artistic ability was greatly influenced by being raised in Alaska. It was dark when we went to school and dark when we came home. Being one of three children in a very small house, my mother always kept us “occupied” at the kitchen table with a variety of art projects—this she claims saved her sanity.
The other feeling that I have is that much of my ability is inherited. My home is an interior decorator’s nightmare, but it means a lot to me. A display of artwork painted by five generations, beginning with a piece done by my grandmother in 1910 when she was only 13 years old, adorns the walls of my living room. There is also a painting by my grandfather that was composed during the same time period while he was a student in Germany. This collection also includes paintings by my mother, my two sons, John and Eric, my grandchildren, as well as some of my own work.
I have two wonderful sons, John and Eric. Their girlfriends Jenine and Tracy are a great source of joy. Being the Grandmother of 10 kids whose ages range from 24 to 9 has been a lot of fun. Always something going on! I am very proud of all of them. Some of you may remember when there were pictures of Jacob in some of the earlier books as a newborn!! My dear husband Michael Deason passed away in 2013. He is still very missed. View Family Photos Here
As for my history in the painting world well, it started in about 1978. I wish that I could say that I was “hooked” from the start, but in all honesty I wasn't. My girlfriend Joy Stevenson asked me to go to a painting class with her and I said “no way” but I did finally relent. Well now look what happened! Here I am!!
Looking back, I remember the first book that I published with Susan Scheewe Publications in 1986. When “Count Your Blessings” arrived from the printer, I don’t think that I sat down for a week! Now 30 years later, it is still a thrill when someone tells me that they love my work. It is an even bigger honor to know how much enjoyment people get from painting the projects in my books.
There have been so many wonderful things that have happened to me throughout the course of my career in the decorative painting field. The people I have met are many, the places I have been to (China, Mexico City, Montreal, etc.) are just too many to list. None of this would have happened had I not started painting. Thank You Joy and everyone else I met along my journey.
I was the Convention Artist for Society of Decorative Painting convention in Nashville , TN. When the Society launched it’s Learn to Paint program in 2000, I was honored when my design was chosen to be taught to 60,000 people throughout the US all on one day. This was such a wonderful project, involving untold, massive amounts of work for the Society and huge contributions from all of the manufacturers. I'm not sure that an adequate amount of praise or thanks for this could be sung for everyone involved. This combined effort exposed a great number of people to decorative painting. Currently I work with Delta Creative, Royal Brush, Stampendous and Round Top Collection. Although our magazine world has changed I still do several magazine articles a year with the online magazines and the new Painting World.
I have written 42 How-To books with three different publishers. Have pieces in a Japanese Museum, the DAC Collection and the Smithsonian. Have worked with Disney, done PBS Creative Living with Sheryl Borden the host. Wonderful lady and wonderful program!
Can I imagine doing anything else? The answer is a firm, “No.” There hasn’t been a time in my life when I wasn’t involved in an artistic endeavor of some form. I believe that God gives each of us a gift to share with others and I think one of my greatest blessings was the discovery of my gift. So many of us go through life never knowing. But I do know and hope that I am given the ability to share it for many years to come, because the greatest gift of all of this is you--the wonderful people I have met, talked with on the phone, and come into contact with through decorative painting.
Here are some photos of my birthday party at the Creative Painting Vegas show in 2011. View Vegas Photos Here
Keep painting and keep smiling!