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About Me

A Little About Me...

I've been drawing since I was four years old. I'm not sure, but I think I skipped the stick figure stage. Artistic talent is, to me, a God-given talent that I have only expounded upon - I can't take credit for having created this talent within me. I have merely developed it.

I spent most of my growing-up years in the country in east Tennessee in a small house sitting on three acres that were half full of limestone rock. My mother made the best of the rocky hillside behind the house by creating beautiful rock gardens filled with creeping phlox, wild roses, spring flowers and more. My father applied his green thumb to the rest of the land with a huge vegetable garden. Summer was a fun time filled with flowers, vegetables and work.  This is where I first developed a love of gardens.

Painting went on hold during the days when my children were young and I was working full time. I was able to vent the creative flares through graphic design, cartooning and other venues afforded on the job but I had no spare time. There are times when I regret the excess amount of time I spent at work back then - the hours were horrific during the busy season - but I have never resented the chance to learn about printing.

Printing has always been a fascinating field to me. I studied Commercial Art in technical school and worked for many years at three different printing companies. I drank in all the knowledge I could as I learned about the offset, letterpress and silk screen printing processes.  I learned composition, paste-up and mechanicals in the old style - cut & paste, bluelines, rubylith and flat bed cameras. (Yes, I know how many points there are in a pica and how many picas make an inch.) 

I first began working with computers and desktop publishing software in the mid 80's. The first program I used was Aldus Pagemaker and there were so many bugs in it at the time that the updates were coming in every few months. The conversion of my prior knowledge to the virtual desktop was intuitive. The high-end graphic software programs are based on the original paste-up skills and terminology. (I've often wondered how many art students today are taught the history behind the term "leading." )

As the technology changed, I grew with it. I broadened my experience to include the Macintosh platform. I attended classes and seminars to learn new technology. I watched as the PC and Mac competed for the workplace monopoly. I saw programs cross platforms and saw PC's change so rapidly that they were outdated by the time you had them set up. (They still are.) I saw floppies shrink in size and grow in space.


I'll never forget my first external one gigabyte hard drive - I though I had enough space on it to store every record in the Library of Congress. I remember changing a motherboard in a computer at work to a "brand new" 386. It had a whopping 8 MB of RAM. Today, my home computer has an 80 gig hard drive and 192 MB of RAM.

Pagemaker is no longer my default DTP program, having been replaced by Adobe's InDesign. I also enjoy working in Illustrator but Photoshop has become my favorite. There's just something about seeing designs "happen" so fast - things that would have taken hours or days to create by hand just a few years ago now just appear on command.

And the field keeps changing. The day of the stripper (no, not the ones who take off their clothes) is coming to an end. With the advances that have been made in digital prepress, the purpose of making and stripping film negatives is pretty much superfluous. Files can now go straight from the computer to the plate with much less margin for error. 

Together, all these programs come together to work in tandem and make the printing industry more effective. But there are two things that the computer will never replace; printing and design. People will always want something printed on paper to hold in their hands to read, from a business card that doubles as a note paper in your pocket to that treasured book on a rainy day with a big mug of hot chocolate. And someone with a creative flair will always have to design them. I intend to keep up with the printing industry and I intend to keep learning as long as I can. Besides, there's nothing quite like the smell of a print shop!


When I first wrote this, I had time to paint and garden. Since then I have worked my way into a full time job as a graphic artist/ editor. Yes, the real estate license is still retired. My dream is still to become a full time painter and I'll hold on to that dream as long as I can hold a paintbrush.

...and, in case  you're wondering, I am married to a wonderful man (32 years this year) and am currently living in northeast Tennessee. We have two grown children, four grandchildren (yes, I have pictures), and a spoiled Cocker Spaniel named Cookie. In my spare time, I read (mysteries mostly), paint, garden and work on crafts. 

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