Gretchen discovered watercolors 35 years ago after puttering with oil, acrylics, ceramics, crafts, wood finishing, etching, home decorating and 20 years in the business world in Pennsylvania. Florida was paradise to her with wonderful historic homes, tropical flora, fauna, and beaches. She likes to paint a series of homes or porches, plants, animals, etc. Her paintings caught the attention of Disney with a series being commissioned for vacation club as well as the Vero Beach property of Winsor Corporation. The Key Ambassador, Best Western chose her print series to redecorate their entire motel in Key West.
She is very active in the community wherever she lives. She was honored to help direct, write, edit and present “It Can Happen To You”, an award winning video on domestic violence which was distributed nationally to identify and help abused women. She helped rehab Bay Shore Manor, an adult living facility in Key West, turning it into a real home for the residents. She invented “Lily the Literacy Lion”, visiting schools and inspiring children to read. Her nutcracker series adorned the Key West Woman’s Club at Christmas for years. Her coral reef print, identifying the principle fish and corals, funded the replacement of mooring buoys all along the Florida reef system.
Gretchen’s latest project was to turn a dark, ugly, neglected beach house into a lovely charming beach home and tropical garden on Amelia Island. Her list of local and state-wide exhibits is unending, collecting over 56 major awards with collectors world-wide.