I am a native Texan born in Anahuac, Texas. My Dad was in the Army and my Mom was a nurse. My entire family is from the South East part of Texas. Because my Dad was in the Army, we traveled over seas quite often and I lived in Germany about half of my childhood. We were just like all those other Americans in the 60's and 70's, who drove big American cars and got dressed up on the weekends and took driving adventures in the German countryside. Even with all the trouble of maneuvering down the narrow streets in the small German towns, with a car full of squabbling daughters, my Dad insisted that we go to visit all of the castles and beautiful historical places in Germany. Were it not for that, I do not believe that I would have ever developed my great love of art and my never ending desire to create something beautiful and lasting.
I have always loved to draw. Despite my ever present doodling, I knew I needed to learn skills from others who had formal training. I have taken many classes with various different artists and studied and known many fantastic artists in my time in Austin, Texas. I moved to Austin in 1979 and in 1980 I found Della Carlson. By chance, I was able to take oil painting lessons with her as my instructor. My class was filled with a wonderful group of fellow art students. We all met in the sunroom located at the back of her house. Della had set up easels and chairs for everyone to use. Under the watchful eye of a master, we all created what we thought were great pieces of art. Those were fun times and when I look back I realize that it is because of those classes that I am able to paint.
I have been married to my ever faithful and loving husband, Scott Crumley, who has always helped me to pursue my art adventures in every way that he can, for nearly 35 years now. Thank you Scott, for all of your support.
In the late 80's I met a lady named Trudy. Trudy painted slip cast ceramics, which I had never heard of. One day she wanted me to come with her to a ceramic shop, Glenda's Ceramics, to search for a poured form of a turtle planter that wore shoes. I went with her and that was my first introduction to ceramics. I met Glenda and bought some of her greenware things to paint and finish for myself. Before I knew it, I was helping Glenda and I had bought a kiln of my own. Long story short, I learned to make molds and started a small business in my garage making my own Pie Birds. I did that for 10 years. Through contacts with the publisher of the National Pie Bird Collectors Newsletter, I gained some notoriety for my Pie Birds. I developed a following among collectors and that led to being mentioned in two published books.
After making hundreds of Pie Birds, I decided to move on to something new. I expanded into a totally new area of clay work after learning to use the pottery wheel I had purchased with my Pie Bird profits. I went to Clayways Pottery Studio in Austin, Texas, and took lessons. I took lessons for 7 years in wheel throwing and hand building of clay bodies. I went to all of the pottery classes and places I could find in the Austin and surrounding area to gain new knowledge and ideas. I guess you could say that I became consumed with it. I learned all I could from everyone I could find, searching for the work I wanted to create. I read every book I could get hold of in order to find all that I could regarding clay, forms, glazes, and firing. After all the classes and workshops, I started teaching at Clayways, and spent 3 years teaching classes there. I have just recently retired from teaching classes to spend more time working on my own work. My career is still a work in progress, so wish me luck on this new adventure of mine, and thanks for all your support!