Art captured my heart at a very young age while watching my grandma, Barbara Garrels, create beautiful oil paintings. I credit her and her influence as the reason I became interested in my own art. I then eventually pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design, which I received in 2008.
I began an art business on the side which started incidentally on it's own in 2011 after gifting my cousin with a drawing I did of her daughter. I began to receive other requests through word of mouth to create drawings of pets, people and landscapes. From there, I have sold my work at the following events and locations:
- The Snake Alley Art Fair
- The Art Center of Burlington
- The Burlington Fine Arts League GALA
- The Louisa County Art Show
- Art in the Park during Midwest Old Threshers
- Mt. Pleasant Art IMPACT
During the past few years of my I have felt myself yearning to do fine art more but had a fear of going out on my own and leaving my full-time design job. In 2017 there was a terrible car accident involving my grandma and her life was taken and I was devastated that such a beautiful and creative soul could be taken like that. I found notes of hers later that were actually for an art class she was teaching at The Art Center of Burlington. She taught classes there often and I attended many of them with her. The notes of hers that grabbed my heart the most stated:
"Stop telling yourself it's too late."
"Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love."
"Stop telling yourself that dreams don't matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible."
Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you're crazy."
"GO FOR THAT DREAM. The experience will make you feel excited, frustrated, discouraged, joyous, hopeful, fulfilled and most importantly, it will feed your soul!"
"No mater how long it takes, persist. No matter how discouraged you may get, preserve. No matter how much you want to quit, hang in there."
I finally made the leap to a full-time artist in 2019 and still continue my design career on the side. See my designs at
Following in my grandma's footsteps, in addition to selling my own work, I have taught classes at:
-The Art Center of Burlington
-The Airport Road Vineyard
-Mt. Pleasant Middle School Art Club
Art is my way of sharing fond memories of a childhood growing up in the Midwest and the comforting feelings of home and family. In my Midwest-inspired collection you will find full watercolor paintings, charcoal drawings and pieces of mixed mediums using charcoal, chalk, watercolors and acrylic paints all together. This results in a bold and detailed representation of imagery that hopefully encourages the viewer to recall their own experiences of living in or growing up in the Midwest.