"From just one moment comes a "Masterpiece of Life."®
The strongest memory I have from my childhood and birthplace in the swamps of deep south Louisiana was seeing my Mother looking out at us on the patio and turning stone cold white. My younger sister and I were around the age of four and six years old, playing with a Tonka dump truck. My Mother began to panic and told us to come inside, when I said, "Why Mamma?" and my little sister then chimed in with, "We are just giving the giant snake a ride."
We had no idea at the time, the snake we were playing with was a huge water moccasin, coiled up in the bed of the Tonka truck. It came in the night from the swamp that was our backyard.
As we grew, we water skied with the alligators on the Inter Coastal Canal, jumping off the back of my Granddad's tugboats he built.
Eight years old, swimming in 50+ ft deep water that you could not see anything under you. As I said, we were fearless, but that didn't help my Mothers' confidence.
She moved us to Austin, Texas by the time I had turned 15 in the hopes of her little girls being the "Ladies" that she knew was somewhere inside these little daredevils she was raising.
For the past 36 years, I have lived in the wild hills of Tennessee and Kentucky.
A life very different from my childhood in the swamps of Houma, Louisiana, but now, I live in a new kind of wilderness. A wilderness so vast, the beauty and splendor of the wild takes your breath away.
Being the devoted photographer and artist that I have become, along with the lady my Mother was hoping would finally emerge, the wilderness became my artistic palette for creating fine arts along with the very dangerous kind of art as well.
Still, a "daredevil" at heart, the night of the "Super Tuesday Tornadoes" on February 5, 2008, in middle Tennessee, while filming the storm made me realize just how small I am while I was outside during that tornado.
I had filmed the natural gas pipeline pumping station burning out of control from an F3 tornado, which had exploded it only a few moments before, just over a mile from my porch. A historical tornado that stayed on the ground for over 51 miles.
To my greatest surprise from that night, while editing the film, I discovered that I had caught on film, only 300 feet in front of me and above my head, the 2nd funnel that dropped. Just mere moments before it dropped but was in the process of dropping as it crossed over the top of me. It was a full formed cone, and already the massive body was turning, just as it got past our hill in front of our home and gained its intensity, it was then on the ground, destroying everything in its path.
Then, in 2010, once again camera in hand, lightning striking all around, I was standing in water, under trees, a metal umbrella on my shoulder, filming the massive and sudden flash flood that drowned the city of Nashville. Fourteen inches of rain in less than 36 hours. I captured live film footage of the flood itself, and yes, I was in the middle of it all. Riding in the truck filming, suddenly, the road was gone from under us. Water is rushing with white caps, dropping to 12 - 20 feet deep only a few feet away.
When all the water stopped the very next morning, Nashville, TN was under 20+ feet of water and at my home in the hills where it was white water rapids the day before, there was no water, but small trickles left in the creeks. An unbelievable event, all captured live on film from within the flood itself.
Wildlife is much larger than I have ever seen before in my life and never..... a dull day to speak of.
To be the lady that my Mother kept working hard to bring out in me and my sister, as well as the daredevil photographer of some very wild events, I created "Portraits of Elegance" in 2004. From just an idea to incorporate the beauty of nature and turn it into not only fine art but fine art fashion as well.
For the past 15 years, I have worked very hard to continue to improve my arts and to grow my business, Portraits of Elegance Fine Arts® and Portraits of Elegance Fashion® into the company that it is today.
Portraits of Elegance Fine Arts® and Portraits of Elegance Fashion® has been a life ambition, and it is a lifetime devotion to capturing the natural beauty of life and create Fine Arts and Fashion with that beauty.
Each day continues to bring a new level of Fine Arts, that were only seen before in my dreams.
Today, Portraits of Elegance Fine Arts® and Portraits of Elegance Fashion® is very much a part of who I am, as it was when I began to build and grow this business since going public in 2004.
It is my hope that you enjoy the website, and I hope you can find something unique that you can own or wear, as you become the work of art.