About the Artist

Contact Information:
Dcalv2823@gmail.com
(941) 812-0332 (Cell) 
Studio visits available by appointment.

My interest in art began early. While my friends played with dolls I built dollhouses preferring my father’s workshop to fantasy play. Fortunately my elementary school had an Art Curriculum and an inspired Art educator, my mentor Eleanor Lambert. She disdained ‘paint by number’ kits and coloring books stating, “You must make your own lines”.  Through high school art was my focus. My portfolio and application were accepted and I was college bound until life took an unplanned turn.

For the next six years I kept my hand in the arts doing commissions and taking night classes at local community facilities. However, the demands of single parenthood made having a guaranteed income a priority so art was put on a back burner. Three careers later with my child successfully graduated from college I finally gave myself permission to take a class at Ringling Art School’s Continuing Education program.  As I sat in terror staring at a piece of drawing paper I thought , this is it, I’ve either lost it or I’ll find it again and then nothing will be the same because I won’t stop this time.

It was a green pepper, my first charcoal drawing in twenty years and it was …good. The drawing lives in my studio as a reminder that art is what feeds me. While at Ringling I learned of the Wildacres Retreat in North Carolina and it was here in 1995 that I rediscovered clay.  It was the medium that afforded the dual satisfaction of both two and three dimensions, the body as form, the surface as a painter’s palette. I found my muse and have returned to Wildacres every year since.

However, a once a year retreat was not enough to improve so I sought out a local studio. Carla’s Clay, run by Carla O'Brien, a woman that found her way back to clay after a career and motherhood,  provided a wonderful place to learn. Fellow artists at a local studio afforded encouragement and shared ideas. One such artist and retired educator was Brooke Andrews. Brooke came to the studio for the social aspect but we all benefited  from her willingness to share her knowledge. As my new ‘sensei’ she pushed me to look deeper, to move to the next level by attending workshops and educating myself. I attended seminars with Michael Sherrill, Matt Long, Ron Meyers, Elaine and Tom Coleman, Robert Boomer, Brad Schwieger, Gay Smith, Nick Joerling and Alan and Rosemary Bennett. These experiences were invaluable, entertaining and the class notes are a frequent source of reference.

Today I work in my home studio. Inspiration for my work comes from daily life, the pure joy of observation. Clay demands an attentive relationship and I am happiest during those quiet studio hours when time ceases to exist.  I would not have known this happiness; I would not have known myself without the support and encouragement of the schools and the local clay community. I hope you enjoy the gallery and I look forward to your feedback.

My thanks to Kevin Smally for his generous assistance in building this website.