It took me 47 years to uncover my artistic voice! I had spent most of those years studying and dissecting the creative process trying to discover how to be an artist. I grew up thinking I could never be one since drawing didn’t come naturally to me like it did to Patty Donohue, my 4th grade girlfriend, or Diane Kuzio who sat next to me in my high school art class. I thought there was a secret that artists knew and, until I knew the secret, I would never – could never – be an artist.
Still, I tried to figure out not only how to be an artist but how to be the kind of artist who inspires others. I wanted to create art that would speak to the soul and bring beauty into the world in much the same way other artists had touched my soul and enriched my life. I was searching for my voice – for a way to literally make what was in my heart visible so I could share it with others.
For years I took classes and read books. Finally, I discovered the secret I had been seeking could not be found in those classes nor in the books. I realized that the secret was with me all along, in my hands and in my heart. The answer was in the doing, in the making of art – my art. Although all the studying has served me well, deepending my knowledge and leading me into an amazing occupassion, once I found my voice I also found the answer I had been searching for – the truth about art and creativity.
And then I seriously began to wonder, “What if I had not discovered this secret that I had been searching for all my life?” That thought scared me! Becoming the artist I had struggled so long to be had changed my life and I felt complete. How many other women were out there who were also searching for a way to express what was in their heart? It was then that I decided to share what I had learned.
Since the year 2000, I have...
- Taught art workshops coast to coast, in Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
- Authored eight craft books and contributed to countless others
- Exhibited my art in several juried shows and galleries
- Served as Contributing Editor for Cloth Paper Scissors™ magazine for 5 years
- Filmed 4 DVDs and 6 appearances on Quilting Arts TV
- Successfully launched Lesley Riley’s TAP Transfer Artist Paper, CHA 2011 Most Innovative Product
- Inspired thousands of women just like you.
After all that, I had an epiphany! The thing that I enjoyed MOST about my own artist success was actually guiding and mentoring my students and readers toward their own personal artist success.
After talking with hundreds of women I heard the same questions from them time after time:
“How do I find my voice, my style?”
“Am I any good?”
"How do you stay on track when life is so busy?"
"How do you find time and energy to make art?"
I realized I wanted to do more than write about and teach art techniques and projects. I wanted to give creative women something more, something that couldn’t be taught in a book or a 6 hour class.
I have since made a commitment to dedicate most* of my time and creativity to helping creative women find and create the space for creativity in their already busy lives. I work to motivate and empower women to take their creative life into their own hands.
*Saving a little time for my own art, of course.
So what exactly are my qualifications?
Actions speak louder than words. I have done what you want to do and overcome many of the same obstacles you face and am willing to share everything I know with you. Everything.
If my actions aren’t enough and you’re still wondering, then please check out my formal bio, accomplishments, and list of publications here.