My schooling began in the southern regions of the Sudan where Mum homeschooled us – me for my first three years. Dad and Mum, E. Alan Webb and Phyllis Webb were British pioneer missionaries to the Sudan, Ethiopia and the surrounding areas for over 30 years.
We moved to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan in 1957 as Dad had accepted a position at Khartoum University teaching English and Bible. The three children were shipped off to an American Boarding school in Egypt, then later, when the oldest went to the US for college, the middle three children went to the Belgian Congo for their schooling. I was left at home until we all went to the US for a year for Dad to study and be ordained as a pastor.
When we returned to the Sudan, the youngest three of us went to boarding school back in Egypt until, due to and civil war in Sudan, Dad decided we would immigrate to the United States. We arrived on July 3, 1963, just a couple months before President Kennedy was assassinated.
Since I had shown a love for coloring and paining as a child, my parents allowed me to begin formal art classes in 9th grade, and I continued through high school, partly on my own as we moved from Ohio to Illinois following Dad’s Church assignment. After graduating high school, I attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, for one year. The young man to whom I was engaged was drafted, and after boot camp he was assigned to a base in England. We got married in 1969 so I could be with him in England. In the seven years we were together, my husband was stationed at seven different Air Bases, including a year in Viet Nam and South Korea. Life itself was a challenge, but I managed to continue with my training, picking up a year of Commercial Art while he was in East Asia. My studies included Black & White Photography, Print Development, Graphic illustration, Layout & Design & 4-Color Printmaking. Later I took correspondence courses in clothing design and construction, plus Interior Design.
During my husband’s two tours in England, I was able to visit art museums and study the works of the great masters, developing an understanding of layout, design and the techniques used by different ones. In later years I continued my studies in California where I learned more photography, Graphic, Fashion and Interior Design. Going to work for Pacific Bell, I was introduced to manual Civil Drafting, Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). After returning to the Midwest in 2005, I completed my Associate of Science in IT/Web Design, and still maintain websites for myself and art groups to which I belong.
My international experience began in Australia in the mid 1990’s when I worked with Professor Nell Arnold who hired me as her photographer in a special project in Queensland, and also use my artwork in many projects, books, festivals and on her website – which I created. I was accepted by the artists of Out of Australia as their first International member in 2011. The same year, the National Council of Women of Queensland, Australia selected my image “New Beginnings” to be their logo for that year’s convention. And in June of 2016, “Bathing Beauties”, an oil painting of Australian Pale Headed Rosellas and Rainbow Lorikeets, was purchased and shipped to Germany, making Europe the third continent on which my artwork is displayed.
In the time I was studying and working in visual arts, I did not neglect my passion for writing. Having grown up with an English Professor and a Poetess, my prose is excellent. My understanding of languages comes from growing up in North Africa where I spoke, read and wrote in French, Arabic, and the King’s English, understood American English, and could communicate in seven regional dialects. However, I am very thankful for MS Word’s spell check, as it helps me write in American English only.
My writing experience includes the curriculum and syllabi for my own classes in clothing design and construction, quilt design and construction, Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. I have also developed Standard Operating Procedures for small businesses; researched and written technical papers; designed and created catalogs and websites for myself and for art groups; written newsletters, articles, short stories, poetry, and a musical, and now I’ve launched into Christian Historical Fiction with a series called The Lost Legends of Ruby Heart.
Retired educator and artist, Dr. Elaine Wolfe, had on her bucket list the desire to write a novel. Her preliminary notes for The Spanish Beauty began five years ago on one of her visits to see her daughter who lives in Mallorca, Spain; but the writing was accomplished during the quarantine for the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Wolfe combines her story-telling abilities developed during 36 years of teaching biology, with her lifetime experiences as a professional artist, and her love of Spanish culture.
Dr. Wolfe has traveled to every continent except Antarctica, has been recognized nationally for her teaching abilities, and has been recognized as an award-winning professional artist. She has been, for forty years, and continues to be an artist-owner of the CCA Art Gallery in Carmel, IN.
Dr. Wolfe is a published author of her 400-page dissertation, science articles in “The American Biology Teacher” and “The Hoosier Science Teacher”, and poems in The National Library of Poetry’s “Best Poems of 1998” and “Whispers at Dusk”. She is a Distinguished Purdue University Alumna in the School of Science.