Maine: I was introduced to Maine 35 years ago, when my in-laws invited us to their summer camp on Damariscotta Lake. If you take away the outhouse, it was my idea of paradise. Inspiration was everywhere, not only in the untamed natural beauty, but also in the spirit of the place. I belonged there.

Inspiration: I’ve learned that I have a nonstop creative mind. I do not need to think outside the box for creativity since my mind is always in the creativity box. My mother encouraged me to do art from an early age. I was 13 when I lost her, but she is still with me daily, encouraging me. My own force, plus my mother’s, is what drives my art.

Medium: Pastels are my preferred medium. When I was 21 and living in Naples, Italy, I came back home for a birthday visit. I was given a gift certificate to an art supply store and decided to buy a set of Grumbacher pastels and a pad of paper. They didn’t work for me then, so I put them away for a very long time before I picked them back up again.

Artist Hero: I’ve always admired realism. My favorite artists include Dennis Miller Bunker, Caravaggio, and Edward Hopper.

Studio: I work in a converted one-car garage for my Massachusetts winter studio and in a small converted barn for my Maine summer studio. They are both private closed-door spaces where I can create without being concerned about making a mess. I play instrumental music while I paint, which helps me focus.

Where in Maine: Over two decades ago, we purchased land on Damariscotta Lake so we could be near family, and several years after that began our lifetime project of building our own summer camp. There I began my ongoing series of Maine-inspired paintings.

Fun Fact: I oftentimes give my paintings titles before I start them. I really enjoy that part, since it gets me fired up to paint!

Education: I pursued an art degree at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts while working full time. I tried many different media while going to school—oils, watercolor, acrylics, clay, and printmaking—but they did not offer a course in pastels.