I live in southwest Missouri near beautiful Stockton Lake. I have been an artist since I was a child thanks to nurturing from my family. I spent most of my adult life as a gemmologist, goldsmith and jewelry designer and have retired from that profession summer of 2012. I am persuing my first love as a watercolor and pastel painter with all my heart and soul. I love to portray the world around me - the landscapes, wildlife, flowers, pets and people. There are not many people around here to share art experiences with so I am very grateful to belong to this vast group of online artists. I hope for honest critiques so that I may progress.