25 years of learning, creating, teaching art and design.
Originally from New York, Stephanie received her master’s degree from FSU in 1982; lived in Jacksonville for 23 years; and is now a resident of Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Currently, Stephanie is a full-time professor at Florida State College of Jacksonville in the interior design technology department. Her expertise includes: teaching distance learning in hand sketching; perspective drawing; and color rendering with markers. She knows that drawing is a learned skill that will improve with practice. She encourages her students to overcome any self-doubt that may present itself when to meet the challenges learning to draw.
The unique beauty of birds and flowers inspires me to create their portraits; each depicting their own expression and characteristics. Whether it is the unusual shape of a leaf or the special tilt of a cardinal’s head, I want to capture this trait on paper. As an artist, I aspire to channel my joy in the world and in my life experience into a visual language that I then record.
An artist can only see through an artist’s eyes. When I walk my dog, I notice quaint front doors or potted flower arrangements and snap photographs for point of departure. While I may carry a sketch book, being an artist runs much deeper than that. It is who I am, how I teach and how I interact with the world.
As a design illustrator, I render direct visual representations of buildings, interiors and furniture. These images connect to the classes I teach and are often a reflection of my neighborhood. They may have begun with a photograph that captures architectural details for visual reference—the brick and molding around a window.
Elements of history, childhood nostalgia and community characters find their way into these images. For example, a series of door drawings began with the old firehouses in Jacksonville, Florida, and continued with the rich architectural features of front doors in the historic district of my Riverside neighborhood there.
Perspective Hand Drawing, published in 2012 was inspired by my students’ need for a support tool to use outside the classroom as they learned to draw. The book includes step-by-step instructions, video clips and an activity book with practice lessons for each chapter. It teaches perspective drawing theory, and shows the student how to make images more realistic by using correct proportions.
Fifteen years of teaching Beginning Drawing at the college level has shown me that anyone can learn to draw with successful instruction, ample practice and positive feedback. When we break the process into manageable steps, students often marvel at their own progress and unexpected skill. Every semester I appreciate being part of this creative process--working with students who want to learn to draw and expand their own visual expression.