Where were you born?
I was born in Royal Oak, Michigan and grew up in Novi and Northville, Michigan.
What are your earliest memories of being involved making art or wanting to be an artist?
My mother is also an artist, and I remember always being surrounded by art supplies and doing all sorts of crafts with her. I've always been fascinated at my mother's artistic abilities, and wanted to grow up to be just like her.
One memory I have involving art, was when I was 4 years old. My mother went to lay down to take a short nap and while she slept I took a bright, red permanent marker and drew all over our white walls. I then signed the masterpiece 'Heath' for my sister Heather, as I didn't want to get in trouble. Needless to say my mother was beside herself, but in the end I was given wallpaper I could color in for my room, and my parents had to paint
all of the walls brick red to cover the marker.
What is your artistic background /schooling?
I could always draw from a very early age, in fact, I remember having a Thanksgiving drawing of mine in Kindergarten published on the front page of our local newspaper. I was always in art classes throughout my schooling and took a few private lessons. I was accepted to the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, but decided to go into teaching instead.
What inspires you most as your subject matter?
I am really inspired by a number of artists such as Karin Jurick and Chris Stott. I love Jurick's style, it's kind of a mix of realism and impressionism, and I love the vintage still lifes that Stott paints. I still feel that I am trying to discover my own 'niche' as they call it, but I suppose I have become known mainly for my pet portraits, still life paintings, and my Master studies. I love doing Master studies because I not only enjoy looking at such incredible work, but I've learned a great deal by studying such greats as William Bouguereau and Mary Cassatt, among others.
Tell us a little about your family and where you live
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your success/well-being as a person and artist?
Well, first of all, I believe God has given me this talent and I need to always be thankful for such a gift. Taking time to remember Him is definitely important to me. I pray daily and believe He guides my life and my career. The blogging community and loyal customers have been important to my life and career as well. Their encouragement and inspiration really brighten my day and keep me focused on reaching my goals in life! I am also very thankful to several fellow artists who have offered their support and advice along the way, as well as family and friends. I think a lot of times an artist's success is about making a connection, and I hope I do that not only through my work, but on a personal level as well. Art, to me, is sharing a little piece of yourself...it's not just about paint on a canvas.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
To be totally honest I probably would live on the Central Coast back in Australia, but that would only work if we had a private jet to fly back to the States 2-3 times a year!
What are the most challenging things for you about being an artist?
My biggest challenge by far is learning how to loosen up a bit and paint faster, smarter I suppose. My goal is to paint like Karin Jurick someday, yet maintain my own sense of who I am as a painter. I love how her work is realistic looking but with a very painterly feel to it. Her strokes seem much more fluid and her color choice is spot on. I often wonder where I'd be today had I gone to art school...but at the same time, I'd never take back the 6 years I was a teacher. I think the best thing I can do is just continue to paint, the sheer practice of it truly has refined my skills, and I look forward to where this new chapter of my life will take me.
Thanks so much to Lara for sharing more about herself and her work with us!
Check out her website here.