Instead of retiring when I reached that age, I decided to make my life even more exciting. I started a transition to fulfilling my lifetime desire to be a full-time artist with the work space and time needed to create art. I also wanted my new lifestyle to enable me to travel periodically.

In my younger years, I had majored in biology at the University of California, Davis, with the intention to teach high school biology, chemistry and physics. After fulfilling my practice teaching requirement, educational funds dried up, so I decided to return to school.

I then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Washington State University, Pullman, specializing in ceramics and textiles. Several years later, I attended Claremont Graduate School in Pomona, California, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. At Claremont, I studied metal and fiber sculpture and performance art.

After teaching fiber arts part-time at Pasadena City College in California to finance my master’s program, I was unable to find long-term employment in the arts. I then began a series of different career paths that still enabled me to focus part-time on my artwork. Because space in which to work and time were limited, I gravitated to mostly making jewelry with beads, metal and found objects, as well as creating some collages with paper and fabric.

I worked for many years in alternate careers that ranged from construction trades (finish carpenter, tile-setter and masonry) to facilities management. After obtaining a significant amount of experience, I was hired at Stanford University in California as the first woman supervisor in the Maintenance Department. I moved on from there to serve as a Construction Project Manager and oversaw the completion of many science and engineering building projects and renovations.

After I left Stanford, I went to work in Public Works for the City of Mountain View, California, managing its real estate and construction program. I oversaw many construction and renovation projects for the city, including a major library, a Public Works Center, and various other gym and public recreational facilities.
I later bought a small consulting business that specialized in project management services and facilities software/database and staffing operations. In addition to being a co-owner of the company, I served as the CEO.

During those busy working years, I also had the opportunity to travel to all of the continents. I visited many different cultures and experienced and photographed their arts and crafts, as well as their architecture and natural phenomena/environmentally special sites.

Traveling gave me an appreciation for the many people, especially women, who had contributed to arts, crafts and architecture on a global scale. Reflecting on all of my educational experiences, I believe that this exploration of different cultures not only broadened my perspective but also enabled my confidence to express a wider vision of ideas through my art and design. I became more grounded and more bold in my art expression than I had been in my younger years.

With regard to my “other careers,” I eventually sold my business in California in 2018, and as noted above, I moved to Battle Ground, Washington, to finally pursue my lifelong aspirations, including my love of art.