A seventh generation Kentuckian, I lived in the Bluegrass State for most of my life. But in 2014, my husband and I decided to begin a new adventure by moving to the lovely small city of Benicia in Northern California.
While I am strongly influenced by my bluegrass blood, I have had many experiences that also have shaped my view as an artist. I also have lived in Oahu, Hawaii; Knoxville, Tennessee, and now Northern California, and have traveled to many places in the United States and though out Europe. I hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English and Literature from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.
I enjoyed a long career as a writer, communications professional and public relations consultant. For years, I directed communications and media programs for various organizations including serving as press secretary and spokesperson for the Kentucky Lottery, Kentucky’s Attorney General, the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet, and the Kentucky Commission on Women. I have had articles published in regional, national and international publications and was owner and president of a public and media relations consulting firm in Louisville.
I began painting in 1999 as a hobby while I was still working in communications. Since my retirement in 2007, I have become more focused on the creation of water media art. I began painting in watercolor and learning new techniques by taking classes and workshops with well-known artists such as Robert Burridge, Karlyn Holman, Sterling Edwards, and Karen Knutsen.
I have received several awards for water media work including taking first place at Louisville’s 2010 Emerging Artist Exhibit and Best of Show for “Daylily in Red” in a 2014 Louisville exhibit. I have had solo shows both in Kentucky and in Benicia including Gallerie Renee Marie and Umpqua Bank. In recent months, I have had paintings juried into shows at Arts Benicia and Fairfield/Suisun Visual Arts Association.
Now settled in Benicia, I am excited about this new phase of my life. We are close to our family and have made some wonderful new friends. I’m exploring a heightened level of creativity as I discover new ways in which water media and collage elements can be applied to various surfaces.
I have been married for 50 years to Ralph Dennis, my high school sweetheart, a dear man who supports me in my artistic adventures. We are the proud parents of two furry four-legged felines who continue to rule our household as they did in Kentucky.