My Creative Journey

Art, Nature, Teaching and Pattern Design

Pattern Lover: I’ve always loved patterns and fabric, and studied Textiles and Fibers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I loved drawing just as much so I enrolled in a Scientific Illustration class. At the time it was taught by the head illustrator at the Field Museum of Chicago. Amazing, I know!

My textile design classes had me dyeing, silk screening, and hand-painting yards of fabric, while in Scientific Illustration, I was busy carefully observing and drawing all kinds of artifacts and specimens.

My Aha Moment

One day we learned some botanical facts about the flowers we were drawing. Right away, I had a better idea of where to look, and what I was observing. I actually saw more of what had been there all along.

My drawings improved, and I had my “light bulb” moment! There is a connection between art and science! 

The Pivot:

After graduation, I created fabric in my textile studio. It was challenging…well, honestly – exhausting – to produce enough yardage by hand to sustain a business. I had always loved teaching so took my Aha! moment and began offering classes in art and nature.

Since then, I’ve developed programs and taught art and nature workshops and classes to thousands of adults, children, and families at the world-class Chicago Botanic Garden, The Morton Arboretum, the Field Museum of Chicago, in private and public schools, and most recently online. I love making information accessible, and one of my greatest joys is introducing people to the connections between art and nature. I believe everyone is creative and that no matter what you do, understanding nature makes the world a more interesting place!

Full Circle

And that fabric design career? There’s a very happy ending there too! Last spring, I took Bonnie Christine’s Immersion class, and learned how to create repeat fabric patterns digitally using Adobe Illustrator. I’m so excited to blend my deep love of nature with pattern design and teaching. You can see my most recent work, projects, and nature connections by following me on IG. Link below. 

Thank you for joining me on this journey! I’d love to know about your interests, dreams, and goals! 

Leave a comment and let me know what’s something that you’re passionate about.

3 Comments on My Creative Journey

  1. Fascinating!!! Aha! Moments are wonderful. We should all be more in-tune with ourselves to recognize them. You continue to inspire me, Betsy!

  2. Hi Betsy,
    Saw you on flourish round table Alumni discussion, which I really enjoyed. I signed up for Immersion a few days before it but I just wanted to say I love your website!
    Looking forward to Immersion.
    Cindy Debold

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