It was 1980,  and I was fresh out of art school.  My husband and I were busy and on overload with people responsibilities.  One day we shucked it all,  got a sitter and went for a January drive in the country.

My husband drove on automatic pilot as I sat in the passenger seat with a sketchbook in my lap.  In an hour or so, we both relaxed.  I looked out the window, noticing a horizon and recorded from memory that which I had glanced at.  It took a minute or so and when I looked up and out the window I noticed something on the horizon, so I added that to my landscape.  When that was duly recorded as both a tree and a scribble, I looked up for more landscape elements to add.  And on and on. (I had a belief that all of life, at its center, can be represented by its own unique scribble.  You just have to sense the sort of scribble that is before you.)

“Good Winter Driving Conditions”

When I had a composition, I turned the page and started another composite landscape.  And that was how the day went except for stopping at diners.  It was a wonderful day together.  My husband was intrigued with my “method” and at one point playfully challenged me to think fast, driving through rapidly changing landscape, around hairpin turns, up and down hills.  My hand had to move fast!  I laughed as I turned page after page, each drawing more scribbly than the last.

“Joy Ride”

A mid winter day joy ride was the occasion for my first show in Monroe. Wi.

I was still learning and fine tuning my own style.  For the paintings which were presented late winter of the same year (1980), I traced my sketch book drawings on watercolor paper and embellished with acrylic paint and pencil.  (In time, I would leave both tracing and acrylic behind.)

January is my most difficult month, with so little sun, short days, and so much cold.  My goal for the show was, “If I could see the good in January, I was confident I could see the good in any thing I turned my attention towards.”   I wanted to take what I saw as a constructive attitude as a professional artist.  So the show was a way of testing myself.