An Artist in Sea Island Crossing

"I live on Sea Island Crossing Lane in Mt. Pleasant. The piece of land I have is small, so I don't get carried away with gardening but it's large enough to add a few plants. I have a neighbor with 250 camellia plants, as many azaleas, and tons of roses. Every spring he has a lawn party when the camellias are just starting to die back a bit and the azaleas are coming on strong. It's just beautiful.

"Camellias, irises, and day lilies are the plants that I spend the most time with. It's kind of difficult because I have a lot of shade, which I like also, so it's a bit of a balance.

"My mother was an illustrator and she encouraged me and my sisters to draw and paint.

"Before I left New Jersey, where I grew up, an artist I met at a show had me work with charcoal and chalk. He told me to set up a cone, ball, and cube with one light source and he said to study and draw those three shapes as much as I could.

"I moved into working with pencil after that. I love the control of being able to work very tightly and achieve different textures in the drawing.

"I'm always taken by the beauty of downtown Charleston and the care with which the architectural treasures are maintained. I like the fine details of the buildings. I try to find something that has a nice geometrical pattern.

"I just found out that I won a ribbon at this year's Blessing of the Fleet art show. Last year, I won a ribbon at a Berkeley County show judged by John Carroll Doyle. I was very surprised but happy because I particularly like his work.

"A lot of times, to get a feel for what I'm going to draw, I'll photograph the architecture first, using f-stop bracketing so I can get the dark areas to where I can best see the pattern, the overall tone.

"I do historical research on the buildings that I draw and include that on the back of the prints that I sell. My prints are available at the Preservation Society and the Historic Charleston Foundation downtown." -—as told to Jason A. Zwiker


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