I was born in California near the ocean and have lived in the Bay Area most of my life. I am drawn to the beauty and intricacy expressed in nature. As a child, I loved birds and started drawing them with soft pastels. My grandfather was an artist who painted in oils—huge canvases of flower arrangements, deserts, and wild ocean scenes. He would surprise me with gifts of pastel sets, paints, and paper to get me started. I also loved playing outside in the garden, and started to experiment with seeds and grew my first sunflowers in fifth grade. I was impressed when they passed me in height to over 8 feet tall.
I studied drawing at City College of San Francisco with Fred Berensmeier and Ray Holbert in my early twenties and discovered that learning how to see was the basic skill for visual artists. I worked as a garden designer and horticulturist, “painting” with color, shapes, and texture and fragrance, and began to photograph my sojourns into the wild and beautiful Sierra Nevada. For me, photography is the art of painting with light, and the camera’s shutter a way to freeze an image in time to allow a closer look.