My childhood was spent in Connecticut, in Westport on Long Island Sound. That meant that the beach was near-by, a short bike ride or car trip. Also within reach were fields, woods, gentle mountains, rocky shorelines as well as long sandy beaches to explore, explore, explore!

I grew up with great sense of connection to nature, having a great deal of freedom to wander where I wished, alone mostly, sometimes with a friend. Even as a young girl, I spent hours, whole days, out on my own , walking or on my bicycle. Exploring, curious, observing tree bark felt, the sweetness of summer grasses and wildflowers tickling my skin as I lay in a meadow. Picnics by “brooks” as we called them, watching frogs, fish, worms, insects, birds...everything was a wonder!

Years of scouting taught me much about nature. I am so grateful to Betty my scout leader, a woman with vision and great integrity. But more than the plant ID, or the secret of campfire cooking, more paramount to my real education in, as John Muir said, the “University of the Wilderness”, was that deep sense of awe and of mystery that my heart always carried throughout my girlhood adventures in nature.

I emphasize this because the power of that influence would shape and color the rest of my life, until the present moment.

After highschool, I spent four years at the University of Connecticut. The academics were secondary to the wanderings, I suspect. Although I had great respect for higher education, and was a responsible student, I did not find much in the classroom that touched me. Originally an agricultural school, there was much country to be explored in the surrounding area. That probably saved my soul!

With a degree in English, but loaded with science courses from a foray into Nursing, I moved to New Haven, where I worked with young children. They were an encouragement to explore art, any medium, any way! And I discovered a love for teaching, and for working with children.

In the late 1960s, I took some time to travel and explore parts of America as well as Canada, and the Bahama Islands. It was at this time that I began to keep a journal with watercolors and notes. Using a set of Grumbacher watercolors in pans, a sketchbook, and a Rapidograph pen , I happily drew and painted some of what I saw, of where I was, filling pages with color and line drawings.

I still have that earliest journal, and when I look at it now, I see the roots of what came to be my style.
1973 brought me across the country to Portland. I was 25, looking for home, hungry for what, I was not sure... for a meaningful life, for a place that would embrace my burning questions.

I did know a few things: I wanted to work with children, I wanted to live on a farm, I wanted to find a spiritual path with others.

I arrived in Portland at an exciting time. Within weeks, I had a job with young children, new friends who were interested in similar things, and an insatiable desire to explore this wet, green, fertile area.

I completed a Master’s degree in Science in Education at the same time that I was teaching at a school that was on a farm in the Willamette Valley, and raising my daughter.

The school was part of a community that was a spiritual center, based on the teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff. We farmed, we built our school for our children, we learned to work together... we were gently and gradually trained to be more aware, mindful and responsible human beings.

The many years I spent there have been the backbone of my spiritual practice, the foundation for striving to live in a more concious manner. I am deeply grateful for that experience, as it has influenced every aspect of my life.

When I moved from the country to Portland in 2001, I had already begun to paint with watercolor. When asked if I would teach a class, I said yes and set up a card table in the room I called my studio. That little class of 3 grew over the years, and so I found my place as a Nature Journaling teacher. That deep and ancient love of teaching was rekindled again and again.

Over the years, through the 30 years of teaching children and the years of working with adults, I have taught in many places, mostly botanical medicine, art or nature study. I taught for OMSI for 13 years, when they were up near the Hoyt Arboretum, so I could take groups of children through the woods. I continued with the Arboretum, leading their Nature Day Camp for over 20 years, so that woods became my second back yard!

I have taught for Clackamas and Portland Community Colleges, PNCA, Tryon Creek State Park, Portland State’s Haystack Program.

At present I teach regularly for Multnomah Art Center, Audubon and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, as well as at my studio.

I also have taken groups of people to Italy, on a watercolor retreat, and often go to Wyoming to paint and sometimes teach.

I plan to continue teaching in wildish and beautiful places, helping people to connect to the natural world through observation and art in a journal format.