I was a professional writer for more than 30 years when a buyout at the Philadelphia Inquirer led me to return to my childhood love of drawing and painting. Although I have taken dozens of art workshops over the years including the “Art Incubator” approach to color theory and abstract painting led by Philadelphia artists Alan and Libbie Soffer, I believe my best work is achieved by channeling the past. I’m a longtime student of the English “Arts & Crafts”; movement as well as the 19th-century illustrator Howard Pyle and his imaginative compositions and intricate pen & ink style. In recent years, I have experimented with encaustic painting, or pigmented wax, to lend an atmospheric or historical sense of place to my work. At home in West Chester, I’m easily inspired by my mix of “primitive” and Eastlake furniture in my late Queen Anne Victorian twin as well as my antique quilt collection that date to my Kansas ancestors. I can’t sew a stitch, but I inherited a “make-do” attitude in creating art from handmade stencils and stamps, collage, and linocuts. I especially love using historic design elements from places I have had the privilege of visiting such as Turkey, Jamaica, Vienna, and the Baltic countries of Eastern Europe.