My first creative works were hand-pulled serigraphs (or silk-screen prints). I do not recall how many actual images I created, but I hand-printed and sold my serigraphs until 1996. Every serigraph I produced was totally planned out in advance. There was no room to change an idea in mid-stream. It was about that time that I also realized that all those printing inks, thinning solvents and screen cleaning chemicals were extremely toxic and very harmful to my health. So I looked for another medium that was still hands-on and intense in color. I had purchased a set of oil pastels but had not yet found the time to experiment with them; I was still printing serigraphs - I had to make a living of course.
The event that prompted me to work with the oil pastels full-time was the following: I had loaded up my truck to go to an art festival to sell over the weekend in Corvallis ,OR. I arrived in Corvallis on time and proceeded to check into my hotel. They did not have my reservation on file, but they discovered they had booked me for the following weekend. Oh well, No problem, there were plenty of rooms. I then went to the show site to start setting up and saw not a soul. No spaces were marked and there were no staff around to answer questions. It finally dawned on me that I drove down on the wrong weekend!! …. I turned around and drove home.
So there I was, completely ready for this show, all my book keeping was caught up, and all my orders were filled. So finding myself with a completely open week, I decided to finally experiment with the oil pastels that I bought. I almost immediately discovered that I loved to work with the oil pastels. I could not believe that it took me so long to figure that out. I fell in love with the colours and the feeling of freedom to be able to add spontaneity to my work. Oddly enough, the black paper I had been using for serigraphs for years, was indeed actually a paper for pastel artists. Fortuitous indeed. I stopped production of my current Serigraphs, after the arts festival, and never looked back.