I began painting when I started at the University of Washington in 1971. It was soon my intention to become a medical illustrator and my counselor at the university had the task of getting me into anatomy courses and all things in the physical sciences. And because I would need to know how to make illustrations for publication, he put me into Design 101, Advertising, and Drawing and Painting. I soon changed my major when discovered without a lab coat and microscope in a medical course, "No artist will take a chair from a medical student," was the TA's remark. I told my counselor that I preferred graphic design anyway. Alas, no medical school. Phew.
In the following year I became the part-time second pair of hands for the Art Director at the University of Washington Press and, through book and catalog production, she taught me how to prepare art for the printer. All along I continued my design, drawing and painting courses. I actually had a double major and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design. I told my drawing and painting professor, Norman Lundin, who told me I was one of the few
of his students that could make a living in painting, that I would always paint. I just didn't want to spend the next few years getting to a level in painting that would amount to a living; that I could hit the road running in graphic design.
When I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles and soon worked for my design hero, James Cross, at his annual report design office, Cross Associates. And I continued to make paintings on the side.
When I married in 1982, all things Los Angeles came to an end and
we moved to Seattle, waiting for children in a quiet, residential community--Mercer Island, where
I grew up. I started Blackwell Studios and took on design and illustration projects. Painting commissions began to fill my time and when I get all their permission, I will post the portrait commissions that I did during those years.
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