The artist at age five

Young Artist


Artistic Heritage

My Grandfather's Sketchbook

Private Collections
Mural Archives
Maine Murals

Digital Prints
Offset Prints



As a young child
I was always adventuresome and creative. I loved exploring, catching polly-wogs, building forts in the woods, and making things. I remember surprising my skeptical grandfather when I caught a fish with a pole that I made from a tree branch, a spool of heavy thread, and a safety pin. He was so proud of my successful invention that he hung it up on the porch like a trophy and would boast to friends and neighbors about it. Since my grandfather was a rather stern, gruff, man, I was happy to see him smile as he talked about me, my pole, and my fish.

Growing up, I liked to color. I filled coloring books quickly, sharpening my skills as I went. My mother taught me how to use crayons and later, colored pencils. She showed me how to 'shade' and 'keep within the lines.' As I learned my coloring lessons, I gained confidence in my work and praise from my parents. I remember coloring with my step-grandfather, Grandpa Severy. He was a kind, gentle man and easy to recruit as a coloring partner. I would sit by his side, pull out my coloring book, and we'd color together. As much as I enjoyed coloring with him, I was saddened when I saw that he didn't stay within the lines. I felt sorry for him in this respect, concluding that he didn't know how to color. I never turned down an opportunity to color with him, however, because he was so kind and loving. It really didn't matter to me that he didn't color well.

Going to school opened up a whole new world for me. In kindergarten I was introduced to drawing, tempera paints, and finger painting. I loved it all and did so well that my kindergarten teacher told my parents, 'Your daughter is going to be an artist.' My parents were not surprised by my teacher's assessment. If anything, they agreed.

Throughout grade school I continued to blossom as an artist. I ate up every opportunity to express myself creatively. I was always drawing, coloring, and making up art projects. I loved art class, but was not challenged by them. As I advanced through school, I began to incorporate my talents in school assignments. My teachers liked to assign booklets, so I began to add illustrations to my science, health, geography, and history notebooks. My illustrations, along with my penmanship, impressed my teachers and awarded me with extra good grades. This winning combination followed me throughout my school years, and my booklets became conversation pieces at every grade level. To this day, I have all my booklets, beginning with my Bird Book from fourth grade.

As I gained confidence with my artistic ability, I branched out into other projects, one of which was our school newsletter, The Student Prints. This publication was an annual compilation of poems and prose by grade school students. Allowing for my art talent, I was often chosen to design and execute the cover. This is when I learned how to silk screen and do mimeograph art. Suffice to say, it was a challenge to learn these new media, but I loved it. I was fastidious in this work, and, as it turned out, The Student Prints won several awards.

Apart from school, I entered poster contests. most of which I won. My first winning entry was for a campaign to beautify our town. I won a $25. savings bond for my poster, "Keep Morristown Clean." My biggest triumph came in eighth grade when I won a national coloring contest offered by Fred Fear Easter Egg Coloring Company. I was awarded a shiny new (blue) Schwinn bicycle that had three gears, a headlight, hand brakes, bell, horn, and side-saddle baskets. My parents were so proud of me that I thought they'd pop. Winning this prize put an end dad's long-reluctance toward my having a bike. Suffice to say, my new bicycle was the talk of the neighborhood. I took good care of it as one would a special friend, doing errands for my mom, touring around town, and taking long trips on country back roads. My trusty, blue Schwinn lasted me well into my adult life at which time I gave it to a young girl who needed a bike.