My husband and I were born in Seattle. We married and raised our three children just south of there in Tukwila. I worked for Seattle Public Schools as a paraprofessional in special education for the first 15 years while my husband worked at the Boeing Company. In addition to my job working with the kids at various schools, I was often recruited to use my artistic skills on projects, which included designing and painting three large murals at one elementary school. In the 1980s I took a drawing and an oil painting class at our local community college and did a few oil and acrylic paintings – selling a few of them. During those years I also ran a small graphics business out of our home where I offered a variety of creative services, including painting a couple of store windows for new businesses in the Chinatown area of Seattle, and the advertising and graphics on the sides of a commercial box truck. After that I used my artistic skills for publicity related projects for various programs for churches and one non-profit I worked for or volunteered at. I also taught myself how to build websites, adding that skill to what I had to offer employers and other organizations I was involved with.
In 2002, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis which forced us to find a house that didn’t have stairs. The house we found was in Bridgehaven, a suburb of Port Ludlow, on beautiful Hood Canal. Community involvement and traveling via RV used most of our free time for the first several years there until my health issues, forced us to stop RVing. Ultimately that allowed me the freedom and time I needed to get back to pursuing my art more seriously.
In August of 2018, I took a short series of watercolor classes from well-known local artist, Marti Mathis, which only whetted my appetite for more! After some online research, I found renowned botanical artist Anna Mason, in the UK. She teaches watercolor classes internationally via tutorials available by subscription to her online school. I have learned a lot from her as well as the many other artists on the forum there. Now I paint mostly from photos taken over a lot of years, but always keeping an eye out for other subjects that pique my interest artistically. Wanting paint portraits too, I went looking for yet another online teacher. I found Susan Harrison-Tustain, who is another internationally acclaimed artist, living in Australia, who specializes in watercolor and oil portraits, and teaches via instructional videos offered for sale on her website. Since then, I completed my first serious watercolor portrait.
After working online with Anna Mason now for a couple of years – Watercolor has become my medium of choice. Since then I began picking other subjects, and have done well applying the principles I learned while painting with her. I now mostly paint subjects that excite me artistically. My first commissioned piece was painted for an online friend, who compensated me generously! I have also painted some by request from family members and sold another painting locally. My art can be viewed at http://www.judyobertoart.com. Online photos of watercolors really don’t do them justice but, for now, it’s the best way to publicly display my recent paintings, some of the paintings I did as a student with Anna Mason’s school, and a couple of the paintings I did back in the ‘80s. Thanks to all the encouragement I receive from my husband, family and friends, and God’s leading, I endeavor to continue painting and improving my skills.