My passion for art took root in the rich soil of my childhood experiences in Maine. My grandfather owned the Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor. In 1953, the year I was born, he bought a cottage on Capitol Island to accommodate the overflow from the inn and to provide a restful, set-apart environment for visiting family and rambunctious grandchildren. On Capitol, my brother and I were free to roam the woods or spend whole days at Middle Beach. When the tide was out, we would build elaborate sandcastles and adorn them with the treasures we would find in the sand. When the tide came in, we would race each other to Turtle Rock. Life slowed to the rhythms of the tides, and all day we partook of a sensory feast: the sights, scents and sounds of the outdoors along the coast of Maine. N.C. Wyeth was my artistic hero when I was growing up. I loved his grand narrative paintings so full of life and drama. His bold use of color and the skillful way he captured the light and atmosphere stirred in me an early interest in learning to paint. Later, Joaquin Sorolla and Frederick Waugh became favorites. I have enjoyed spending time with the lobstermen and boatbuilders along the coast of Maine; the beauty of their lives and their boats has long been a rich source of inspiration for me. I studied under Impressionist painter Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art in Provincetown, MA early in my artistic career. The Cape School of Art was established in 1900 with the aim of teaching Claude Monet’s Impressionist theories of color and light. Henry was a master at painting the light. His influence set the direction of my art. I took all I learned from Henry, painting in oil, and applied it the watercolor medium, and in 2004 Watson Guptill published Painting the Impressionist Watercolor, an instructional book I co-authored with Linda Gottlieb, one of my longtime watercolor students. Claude Monet is famous for having said, “I want to paint like the birds sing.” I agree with him on that! I am most alive when I have a paint brush or palette knife in hand, and I’m painting outdoors. I also love to teach others to find the same joy in using color to capture the ever-changing effects of light.