A Boomer born in St. Louis, Missouri, I grew up in Southern Illinois, started my family there, and stayed until 1989 when I moved to Medellin, Colombia to teach, learn Spanish, and in general see what it was like to live overseas rather than just travel tourist style. I discovered what it is like to live with bombs and massacres during the Narco Wars, but I am still a Colombian resident and have moved on to my 7th career, now as a fiber artist.
Until I was 20, I thought my music would be my life but then I discovered a wider world after a summer seminar at Oxford University and a trip across the Europe. I returned to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and switched my major to political science and international relations with music as a minor. I graduated in 1970 and went to work at Morris Library on the SIU-C campus with the idea of doing master's work in library science. Instead I was attracted to bookbinding, a four-year stint that was extremely satisfying. My son was born in 1974 and I had to get real in terms of income so I spent until 1985 managing four Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in southern Illinois for my family. When my parents retired, I went back to SIU and earned a Master's degree in TESOL, later moving to Colombia to teach English as a Second Language. Eight months later, I was also the library director for a US Cultural Center -- the Centro Colombo Americano -- in Medellin, thereby becoming a librarian 'sans' degree. I did return to school to correct that lack but found that as a Colombian librarian for a special library, I was not on the same wave-length as North American public librarians. In 2001 I retired from the need to train, administer, and attend meetings. I am still teaching but now I lead workshops in creative quilting and fiber arts.
My "retirement" started with painting classes from one of my artist friends, Ethel Gilmour, an American professor living in Medellin, who insisted that I should do more than just enjoy art - I should try my hand at making it. My hand was drawn to my life-long collection of fabrics, and I used the painting classes to learn to see form, understand the use of line and composition, and to understand how to make use of my desire for color. In addition to being part of an active artists community, I work with Alberto Gonzalez, another retired professor but of Architecture, Mathematics and Art History, and am delighted to have the chance to learn many, drawing, print-making and painting techniques along with heavy doses of history and criticism.
All of these many experiences in the course of my life are informing the work I produce, and though I work pretty much alone in Colombia as a fiber artist and quilter, I have the advantage of discovering my own path, something very satisfying for an independent learner whose head is stuffed with images from a lifetime of travel and work in many fields. My biggest discovery to date?: Time is of much greater value than money.