Rowenna was surrounded by a family of painters and craftsmen and developed a devotion to the arts, which has dominated her life. As a child, she was generously supplied with paints and brushes by her father, a primitive painter in his own right. His influence encouraged her development as a painter and led her to earn a master of fine arts degree from Ball University. For five years, she lived in the midwest and studied with Ruthven Holmes Byrum. Impressionistic landscapes were her forte.
A turning point in Rowenna’s painting career occurred during the decade of life in which her family lived on Nantucket. In these years, she developed a deep esteem for the Island and the many moods of its special personality. This aura of Nantucket has had a lasting influence on all of her work. She has shown her work on the island for over 40 years and her beautiful scenes of gardens, quaint cottages and harbor scenes are a reminder of the beauty of the island.