My Story

I was born 2 months early, weighing in at 3.6 lbs. in a town called Neptune, NJ. I grew up for most of my life on the beautiful Shores of New Jersey. Yes,  I am  a "Jersey Girl". I was raised in a Greek/Irish/American family and I am the 2nd of 4 siblings-3 gals and a guy. We have lots of relatives in the area which made growing up fun. As a middle child, I vied for my parents attention.  I will say I was a very curious kid and incessantly asked my parents questions which they had limited patience for. I wanted to know how things worked and WHY ? ! I continue to ask questions and have a need to know.

As far back as I can remember, music was playing in our home. My parents had an eclectic collection of albums and 45's. My Dad taught us the basics of Greek dancing very early in life.  I clearly remember my 5th birthday dressed in my blue sailor dress and dancing all afternoon. I look at photos and still remember the feeling of "pure joy."  I guess, when I look back, this is where my freedom of expression was birthed.  My siblings, a few cousins and I went on to dance with the professional Greek Folk Dancing troupe-The Hellenic Dancers Inc of NJ. I cherish those times and still love to dance. 

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors in Social Work and took as many dance classes as I could. I enjoyed my time in Richmond, VA  but missed the Coast. Having already been in the hospitality business for 8 years I quickly got my first restaurant management job with a boutique hotel chain. 

Eventually, I moved to South FL for sun and a hospitality management job progressing to 5 star 5 diamond resort.  I launched a catering company, A Pet/House sitting business  and co-created a dog cookie.  I dabbled in mosaics, titling and  other creative things. The Chameleon was my business of 10 yrs where I was an esthetician and nail technician with a bath & body boutique. I loved doing displays with products and making people feel relaxed and beautiful. But even then, I still had not considered myself an ''artist".

Life then took me to Carmel by the Sea, CA in Dec 2005. I again dove into hospitality management at a famous luxury resort. After a 10 year absence from the business, I jumped back in with both feet, but after working nonstop for 6 yrs, 50-90 hrs a week, I realized I was completely exhausted. Many of you can concur. Most managers lasted 1.5 years. 

By 2012, I was ready to reinvent myself once again. I took an art class and fell in love with the creative process.  I felt as free as I did when I danced. Thank you to Deborah Russell, a Carmel Valley artist, for making it so fun.  I continued taking painting and collage classes but knew this would not be enough if I wanted to be serious. As the story goes, I began to befriend artists and asking if anyone needed help in their gallery. I knocked on Patricia Qualls gallery door.  She asked me, "What could I do? " I said, "Organize, manage employees, execute parties... " She said, "Great,  start with the back closet."  I started out as the weekend manager for 1.5 years then moved to week days and weekends at Patricia Qualls Contemporary Art Gallery  in Carmel Valley, CA. I am still here 52 months later .  With my eagerness to learn, grow and paint daily in my Carmel Cottage, I developed quickly. Thank you Patricia for the opportunity to work with you.  

 I am at a magical place in my life inspired by all forms of Art, Love, Movement, Light, Energy, Texture, Color, the Conscious & Unconscious, Spiritual, Ethereal and Nature. I feel fortunate to have found another career I love. Being in that wonderful place of connecting to creative energy is pure bliss and timeless. I get to be fully explore and experiment in a playful wondrous manner. Everyone has this capacity. Be Creative... whatever that means for you!

Thank you to the many family and friends who continue to support me along the way . 

Love, Light & Namaste,

Katrina

xxo

 

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