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    A little background

    I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and grew up west of the city in Hudson, a small town on the Lake of Two Mountains. After receiving a BA in German from McGill University, followed by an Associates Degree in Illustration from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver, CO, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in graphic design. In 1999, I founded Woerth Street Studio, becoming the fifth generation in my family to pursue decorative painting. I live and work in Manhattan.

    What's with that name?

    My father's side of the family is full of artists and craftsmen. My great-great-grandfather, Johannes Andreas Gotz, was a Master Painter and Gilder in Weiden, Germany, establishing his workshop in the late 1800's. My company is named after the street in Hof, Germany, where two of his sons, Karl and Leo, founded a decorative painting and gilding company in the early 1900's. Karl was my great-grandfather. Their studio no longer exists. I thought it was time to create a new one in New York to continue the family obsession.

    How did you learn how to do this?  

    A combination of things, on a bit of a winding road. I've always been the artsy one in the family; my parents strongly encouraged my interest in art, which lead me to believe that being an artist was a perfectly reasonable career choice. My degree in Illustration set me on the right path, and then I worked for eleven years as a graphic designer, which taught me about color, scale, organization and presentation. Once I learned about decorative painting and decided to start my business, I took classes at The Finishing School in Long Island, as well as at Parson's, Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts. I briefly worked as an assistant to several decorative painters, where I learned how to color match, an essential skill. All that, combined with persistence and lots of practicing, helped me figure out what I needed to know. Also, there's that genetic thing going on; it seems to be in my bones.   

    Words to live by

    "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."   The Dalai Lama
     "We all have a voice. We have the responsibility to exercise it, to use it."   Patti Smith