Who We Are
We’ve been so incredibly lucky to have had absolutely amazing people on our team over the years. The hearts of these ladies are as vibrant as the paintings created by our customers.
I attended college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) where I received a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration with an emphasis in Meetings and Event Management and a Master of Hospitality Administration. With a passion for event planning, my career path led me to wedding planning at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas and later working a fulfilling career as a freelancer for the meeting and convention industry. I then met the love of my life and soon moved to Cave Creek, AZ to start the next chapter.
With a love for art, a palate for wine, and passion for supporting the local community, Vino and Canvas was born. In March of 2018, we celebrated five years since our first painting class (a sold out event where we painted a simplified version of Picasso’s “The Dream”).
I love what I do; what we do. This business wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for my amazing team. Their devotion to Vino and Canvas as well as our customers, allows us to thrive as a business. We also owe our success to our customers. Many of them are friends and we share in baby showers, weddings, birthdays, and other life joys. To have a customer become a life-long friend, is extremely rewarding.
I am now a “mompreneur”. Most days I work from home while taking care of my two littles. I am thankful for my supportive husband and big hearted mother-in-law who help tremendously with Vino and Canvas. With a busy future ahead, I am looking forward to continued success and growth as a company.
Lead Art Instructor
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California, some of my earliest memories are as a little girl sprawled out on the floor surrounded by crayons, coloring books, and drawing paper. That urge to create grew stronger through the years, and so all of my schooling centered around art.
While raising a family in rural Oregon I worked on various community art projects …. everything from t-shirt designs to school stage scenery. After moving our family to Phoenix in the 90’s, I operated a mural business where I could pursue my love of “painting big”. And while I still do an occasional mural, most of my time is spent in teaching art throughout the greater Phoenix/Scottsdale/Cave Creek areas. I love to teach, and I love to paint. So painting classes are a real joy for me.
I feel there is so much creativity inside every person, but it is often hidden. An art class can be intimidating if you know you are going to be surrounded with experienced art students. Maybe you have an urge to paint, but don’t want to be pressured to invest in supplies and curriculum, or to measure up to the person sitting next to you who has been to every paint class under the sun. And although, as a professional artist, I have sold many paintings through the years, I have work hanging in a Scottsdale gallery, and also in the State Capital in downtown Phoenix, and I love to teach on a professional level, I also want to encourage more FUN.
When I found Vino and Canvas, I was so excited to find a company that promoted the lighter side of teaching art. Our Vino and Canvas clients are encouraged to “Just play, have a glass of wine, and get your artistic buzz on!” Absolutely perfect. What better way to explore your creative side. Vino and Canvas supplies everything you need to enjoy your painting experience. You just come and have fun. Our clients are thrilled and surprised with their completed paintings, and many of them have never picked up a paintbrush before!
Vino and Canvas supports local establishments and this is also a fun way to try a new bar or restaurant. The Vino and Canvas online calendar and registration system makes it easy to find a class that is just right for you. They do all the work so that you can relax after a long day, and just have fun. So find a class and join us.
I have been enthralled with color, light and form since I was old enough to get in trouble for finger painting on the living room walls. Inspired by nature, I have backpacked and sketched my way through much of the Sierras, especially Yosemite, and now enjoy painting in pastel and oil in the Sonoran Desert and Sedona regions, working both from photographs in my Rio Verde studio, and en plein air. I have studied with Suzanne French and Camille Przewodek (a student of the Hensche/Hawthorne school) and am a member of the Sonoran Arts League, Art Talk Too, and Rio Verde Art Talk. My work can be seen in galleries in June Lake, California (Moonshadow Gallery), Ahwatukee (Catitude Gallery), and I will be exhibiting this year at the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour in Carefree/Cave Creek. In my spare time, I play Native American Flute, and also work in ceramics. My functional pottery can be seen at Esteban’s in the Tlaquepaque art center in Sedona, AZ.
I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and over the years have taught in many venues, from preschool to grad school. This is by far my favorite! Teaching for Vino and Canvas is a blast! I love coming up with new painting ideas, sharing art, teaching new skills, and just letting our painters enjoy the evening. A glass of wine, a few friends, and a fresh canvas waiting for a masterpiece – what could be more fun?
I really do get a thrill out of teaching new painters. It absolutely delights me when they are happy with their paintings and even if they’re not all that happy with their paintings I am still delighted if they have a wonderful time while they’re painting with us! I love seeing repeat painters come back and develop their skills. And I love when they bring friends and family telling them what a great time they’ve had with us. It’s just such a cool thing to do for a living. :-) I really feel blessed.
I was born in New Jersey where I did a lot of walking around in the woods and spending a lot of time in nature. I believe this is what inspired my love for poetry which later blossomed to wanting to add visuals to my words. I have a copy of a book I wrote as a 9 year old, “My Mother is like Sugar”, so I am convinced I knew early about the combination. I pursued a degree at University of Maryland. It wasn’t until after college that I got involved with art. The art building was in the same building as the sociology department, which was one of my majors (the other was Criminal Justice). However, I was interested in the art but knew my parents would have a problem with more years at college. It wasn’t until after I graduated I moved to Arizona where my family had relocated from New Jersey. I got a job for an artist, first job out of college. I couldn’t wait tables because I had a broken foot so I found this job. I was delaying grad school and law school to explore life. Got a job as an airbrush painter for The Casey Collection in Scottsdale airpark, working for Richard Casey, a sculptor from California. I then realized I wanted to become an artist!!! I had been into the arts as ballet dancer, ballroom dance teacher, and musician growing up but this fine arts part was new. After that I apprenticed under another artist George Judson.
I had moved to Ohio with a fiance in 2001, and there went back to school for a teacher license to teach art, it was basically like getting another bachelors. It took 3 years. In 2007, I returned to Arizona and started teaching art to grades 5 through 12 at a very advanced charter school. I did solo and group exhibitions throughout Arizona and Ohio. I have done a number of commissioned paintings. In 2013, I studied at Academy of Art, an MFA in painting for a couple of years. Now I still teach adults and kids kindergarten through 8th grade. It is a joy to see the creativity of children! It is fun and quite challenging!
I enjoy painting the most. I am working on an illustrated memoir, and an ancient map jewelry line with clay and copper enameling. I love teaching painting to adults while drinking wine! It is fun and everyone does better than they think they will! Cheers!
I grew up with a mom who was always creating something. She hand-stitched my first school bag, she loved to create fun and unique home décor, and she also was a portrait artist. I naturally gravitated to her creativity and have been drawing, painting, imagining and creating for as long as I can remember. No matter what, creativity was always been woven into my life, in some way. Life’s path has taken me from the midwest, where I was born and raised, to the west coast, to the northeast, back to the midwest, and now in the southwest, where I feel incredibly connected.
I studied art in college and recently completed my Master of Arts Degree in Learning and Teaching. I taught painting at a college in suburban Chicago, where I focused less on technique and rather, encouraged my students to continuously “break” artistic rules by discovering creativity in ways that were uniquely their own. This meant approaching their canvases in a manner that they had not ever previously tried, which led to new discoveries.
When I moved to Arizona, I wanted to find ways to encourage people to seek enjoyment and relaxation through creativity, regardless of skill level. Vino and Canvas is just that! We encourage those who don’t usually identify themselves as artists, or even as creative, to allow us to take them from start to finish through a painting with no pressure or expectation of outcome other than to enjoy the process of painting. It’s so exciting to see someone with little or no experience create something that provides him or her with a memory of genuinely enjoying the process without judgment of skill level, and then taking home their beautifully-finished creations.
I paint as time allows, and I am most influenced by Mexican folk art, with its bold, bright colors and light-hearted subject matter. I appreciate when someone truly receives enjoyment from my paintings, and equally, I love to help others to identify their own creativity.
I was born the baby of my family in the summer of ‘93. Both of my parents being hard-working and dedicated people, I developed a strong work ethic, all the while they encouraged me to be creative. I realized my own potential in my preteen years, doodling little fashion designs in my school agenda, eventually moving on to faces, flowers, and animals. At this point, my skills were developing quickly.
Once in high school, it was relieving to know that an hour out of each day was dedicated to drawing, painting, and creating. All 4 years enrolled at my small-town high school, you could count on seeing me in the art room. College, on the other hand, was a little more stressful. After trying out a couple different majors, I felt lost and confused. I wasn’t applying the kind of skills I felt were relevant to what I wanted to do and what I felt I needed to do. Finally, after spending 3 semesters farting around, I decided to pursue an associate’s degree in studio art, and attained it at Arizona Western College in 2014. While attending AWC, I had the chance to take part in cool activities put on by local committees and clubs: Art Beat, AWC Chili Festival, and the Yuma Art Symposium, to name a few.
Moving to the city was also a rough transition. Phoenix is so different from growing up in a small, agricultural community. I’ve had a hard time trying to find my place and have missed having a place to go to feel the creative energies set forth by other individuals. That’s what I love about art: being surrounded by beauty and composition, light and dark, and texture and feeling. My favorite works of art are those that speak without using language, and make the viewer connected to something that isn’t him/herself; those works you look at that take your breath away and leave you speechless. Art is a spiritual experience that helps people relate to one another and to other beings, and possibly opens people up to new experiences. This brings us to why I love Vino and Canvas: it brings people together, positively. It’s not a competition, and its not for an award or recognition. This company and the events they put on are centered around being an individual, by relating to those around you through your own perspective. Everybody has a different approach and viewpoint, and there’s always something to love about each and every painting that is created by everyone participating. It’s a wonderful feeling to finally be able to be a part of something that’s relevant to what I love and I’m proud to be a part of it!