Doreen first became involved in the art world in 1974, when she signed up for adult art education classes at Chaffey College in Ontario, California. Her very talented teacher, Dee Cole, opened a new world to her. In the span of three years, she learned Batik, off-loom weaving, fabric collage and slab pottery. Then, her husband’s (John) work transferred them to Kentucky.
In Kentucky, she taught Macramé and tried to teach off-loom weaving for about a year and discovered that the ladies she taught were “project” workers, who wanted step by step instructions. What seemed to be lacking was artistic initiative or the willingness to work out of the box.
After a year, they were transferred to Iowa. Doreen became more seriously involved in teaching crafts. For nine years she had a very successful Christmas Bazaar in her home. She made fabric Santa’s, snowmen and other items. As a team, she and John also made wood items.
In 1991, while her husband was in Desert Storm, she took a class in reed basket weaving and used her teaching skills to teach the art to others. She still belongs to Iowa Basket Weaving Guild in Iowa. She loves to teach basket weaving to people who say “I can’t do that.” Seeing their face when they walk away with a beautiful basket is very rewarding.
Doreen and John moved to Mesquite in 2003 where she was introduced to the Virgin Valley Artist Association (VVAA) at a sidewalk sale being held under the “then Shed” next to the Gallery. Having been acquainted with clay work, she took a class at the VVAA pottery studio on wheel throwing from Kathleen and Harlo Birkholz.
Doreen has sold her work at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, the Lost City Museum and the Great Mesquite Chili and Arts Festival. She is an active potter and can be found frequently at the VVAA pottery studio as a volunteer. Doreen is also a quilter and fiber artist.
If the name rings a bell, Doreen’s husband is a shirt-tail relative of the famous artist, Thomas Kinkade.