My talent as a visual artist allowed me to be successful. I started in interior design and music and later got a masters degree in fiber design, creating whimsical basketry and weavings that were exhibited all over the US. But, my heart was in exploring how to determine the patterns of thought and measurement in regard to artistic spatial thinking or intelligence. This took me to the University of Denver with special classes from Stanford University to study research methods and methodologies in art education curriculum. As a poor, little girl in the days of picking fruit I had fulfilled my dream of attending Stanford University and received my Ph.D. in 1987 thanks to an anonymous donor from high school who saw my potential. This led me to receive a Kellogg Post Doctoral Fellowship in Adult Learning Research at Montana State University.
I settled in Colorado from California in 1969, where I taught at the community college and university levels, giving workshops and lectures, and later running a graduate program at the University of Northern Arizona in Art Education. I published extensively on the topics of artistic spatial reasoning and artistic research methods and methodologies, serving as president of several national professional organizations and editor of peer-reviewed publications.