RETIRED HALLMARK ARTIST
I am a native of Independence, Missouri; reared in Kansas City, Kansas; and returned to Independence in 1967 to live, when I was hired by Hallmark Cards, Inc.
I have always liked to draw and paint since I can remember. I had a large chalkboard in my bedroom, and I enjoyed every time my teachers had us pull out our crayons and Prang paints.
Honestly, I can’t say that I loved doing art all the time or was great at it. So much about doing good art was a mystery I had to figure out for myself. I was stymied and lost a lot of the time, often very dissatisfied with my results. Art fundamentals weren’t fundamental enough to make learning art very enjoyable. I was interested enough, though, to keep at it and developed moderate skill and understanding. I guess art really was important to me, because when I entered college I realized if I planned an English major I would not be able to take any art classes.
My Hallmark career came by circumstance, when two high school art club friends were hired in Hallmark's engraving department. I decided to apply after my sophomore year and was accepted. I praise God, for by divine circumstance He placed me in a dream job! Hallmark was the creative experience I was lacking, that the academic world could not offer. My job was to hand separate original artwork that came from the original design studio into grayscale printing plates. I also had to replicate line drawings in ink for engraving plates, for embossing, hot foil, flitter, flocking, and gold ink accents. I developed an eye and steady hand for the smallest detail, width of line, and color variation. I took classes from a master portrait artist in Kansas City to augment my skills. These disciplines provided the many fundamentals I needed and would use from then on, and to teach.
As I acquired a comprehensive technical art knowledge, summer interns and new hires were placed with me to train. In addition, I supervised youth Arts and Crafts programs for summer camps.
I married Bruce Luedeman in 1992. We adopted a girl and a boy from China - Jenna Joy, in 1997, and William Winn in 2001. I took early retirement in 1999 in order to stay home; and began a portrait commission business when they entered elementary school. I work in oils, pastels, and terra-cotta colored pencil. I do commissions of people, pets and places, and special interest subjects, like gardens and Super Bowl images.
I love teaching art - as much as I do my own painting and drawing - especially to those who don’t think they can draw. In April 2019, I opened ELOAH Creative Art Studio at 2425 S. Crysler Avenue, Independence, Missouri. I teach step by step fundamental drawing and painting lessons, and Spirit-led art experiences.