I was raised on a ranch southeast of Columbus, Montana, surrounded by the beauty of the nature in the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. I was the youngest of six children in my Norwegian family, and I fell comfortably into my role of helping my parents care for the ranch animals. During these years, many hours of time were spent with the animals that found their way into my care; from cats, dogs, horses, bum lambs, chickens and calves, to an injured mule deer fawn and woodchuck. During this time, I experimented with various artistic mediums, but was especially drawn to the basic graphite pencil for its ability to capture the spirit, beauty, and strength of the animals. I love how this basic tool can be used to capture their soul.
After graduating from high school, I moved to Miles City to attend Miles Community College where I received a 2-year Associates Degree in Business. While in Miles City, I met the guy that I have now been married to for many years. When a job opened for him in the school district of my hometown of Columbus, I was able to finish my 4-year degree in Elementary Education at MSU-Billings (then Eastern Montana College). During these college years, I always enrolled in as many art classes as I possibly could, as this had always been my hobby and my passion. With a move to Livingston where my husband was hired as the Winans School Principal, we settled ourselves into this community while raising our 2 daughters, Lisa and Janel. I continued taking additional classes at MSU-Bozeman to add an Art Education endorsement to my credentials.
I accepted my current teaching position at Park High School 18 years ago and I absolutely have the best job possible. Working with students through my Visual Arts, Drawing and Painting classes has been rewarding for me in so many ways.
Since 1990, I have been producing and marketing my own artwork. I am constantly working on commissioned drawings for customers and I do various art shows in the region, with the largest being the Western Heritage Artists’ Show in Great Falls, Montana every March, during the Western Art Week. I am also an exhibiting member in the The Artists’ Gallery at the Emerson Center in Bozeman, Montana.
I firmly believe that my work as an artist outside the classroom helps inside the classroom as I guide my students in their own pursuit of their artistic dreams.