I grew up in the small town of Ridgely, Tennessee. My parents Leslie and Josie Smith were both creative. They often drew cartoon pictures for my entertainment. My dad played a number musical instruments and sang. My mother was an avid and beautiful quilter. She also made delightful crafts and sang hymns while she worked. I married Paul David Williams and moved to Baton Rouge, LA. We have two children Patrea, Paul, and a daughter- in- law Melany. My husband and children are the delight of my life. I could never have done as much in the art world without them, especially my husband David. He is my greatest asset because his help and encouragement keep me painting.

Some of my earliest memories are of drawing pictures. I can never remember a time when I did not "do art." It gives me such joy to produce a beautiful image. I am in love with the entire process of painting. My art allows me to put my feelings and emotions on canvas, paper or any surface that I choose. My art work reflects my joy and love of painting.

I truly do put my heart and soul into my art. Thus my studio name "My Art and Soul Studio." I am basically a self taught artist and proud of it. Over the years I have attended classes at several colleges, studied with private art teachers and have taken many, many workshops, just to knock off a few of the rough edges.

It has been my pleasure to hold membership in many art guilds. I was president of Zachary Art Guild, on the Executive board of Woodbridge Art Guild, President of Denham Springs Fine Art Association and a member of the Livingston Parish Art Council. I have won awards from Best of Show to honorable mention and Livingston Parish Art Council elected me "Artist of the Year" from April of 2005 until April 2006.

Winning awards and prizes are a wonderful thing and I have received my share of them, but long ago I gave myself permission to paint the way I want to paint. I want to try new techniques and make them work for me. There is no"the way to paint," only what works now. I have found that when I think I've got my groove on, that I am really just in a rut. So I push myself to leave my "art comfort zone" and do different things in new ways. I focus on my own creativity, because it is the passion in art that matters. It keeps you going.

I do my very best to help other artists, to encourage, teach, share my techniques, and praise them. An artist should paint from the heart, paint to please their self, and paint every day. Vincent Van Gogh could have been talking about me when he said" I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." Being an artist has been a most positive thing in my life because when you are given a talent you have the responsibility to use it and use it well.

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