Inspired by the ocean, scuba diving and snorkeling adventures, I began to draw fish in the 1980’s. I still created pottery while my collection of colored pencil drawings and acrylic watercolor paintings grew, to the point of naming my artwork “Ocean Dudes by Duda”.
During my pottery years, I didn’t know I had Rheumatoid Arthritis! I consumed Ibuprofen 24/7 to cope with pain. I accepted pain as part of my life, as I worked slumped over a potter’s wheel and mixed all my clay and glazes from scratch, lifting 50 pounds of clay or lifting heavy kiln shelves. Drawing was easier on my back, wrists and hands, than my work as a stoneware potter. Although I grieved the loss of my identity as a potter, eventually I realized I did not have to give up being creative. I just needed to be creative in a different way. Drawing enabled me to experience the cheerfulness of color, without pain.