Born in Westport Connecticut in 1958, I was the youngest of six children in a family of artists.

My mom was a portrait and landscape painter, and my dad was a business man who always had an artsy hobby going on, like leather smithing, photography, knot tying and jewelry making. There were always tons of art supplies lying around and I remember drawing constantly.

My mom took me to her painting classes, my sisters took me to their drawing classes, and I went to sculpture lessons. Art was the most interesting thing to me, and I remember really loving art books. I enjoyed calligraphy also, and would spend hours in my room drawing.

By the time I was in high school, it was very clear to me that I was going to have a career in art. I went to Rhode Island School of Design to study painting. I loved the school, but I was unhappy in the painting department, so I switched to illustration halfway through my sophomore year. I loved illustration! I had great teachers like David Macaulay and Chris Van Allsburg. I didn't decide on children's books until well after I finished college. I had tried lots of different types of illustration, including magazine, newspaper, advertising, store windows and even scrimshaw. I chose children's books because it seemed to be the most fun and offered lots of room for creativity.

I have loved illustrating children's books for over 30 years. When I am not working on a book, I make paintings, mostly in oil. I like to experiment with different media. Right now I am into reverse scratchboard with ink, acrylic, watercolor. the scratchboard allows me to use tools to take the color back off. I also like to make tiles and throw pots. Working in 3D is a nice change from making flat pictures and I LOVE to get my hands dirty!

Photo by Bret Wills