I am inspired by ideas, emotions, and stories. There are notes and scraps of paper pasted all over my studio, paintings in the simmering stage, before any brush stroke has appeared. Once the painting is created, those thoughts and moods become a time stamp, forever trapped, marking the moment for eternity.
My great-grandmother's wooden palette and a few of her paintings hang in my studio. I never knew her, yet I am able to connect with her through the art she left in this world. I love the idea of creating something that transcends time. It's a cool possibility to have a dialog with somebody in the future.
As a military brat, I grew up all over the world; people and places changed every few years. I was born on the island of Honshu in Japan and spoke mixed Japanese-English as a child. Though home was not connected to a place, my childhood was magical. Each new location came alive with through hands-on experience in the local culture and history. Adult life has continued at the same pace, I’ve had a driver’s license in 11 different states. Ultimately life is about connecting with people; their stories, cuisine, music and art. Painting and sketching have always been my way to capture the essence of life’s experiences.
My Mom was an oil painter, showing work at galleries in New Mexico and Colorado. I remember loving the smell of linseed oil and listening to artists critique the work as it was dropped off at galleries. I was allowed to paint with oils when I was 10 and sold my first painting in a public show when I was 12. My dad was an engineer, he taught me how to calculate square footage for stage backdrops so I could order paint, and how to use power tools so I could stretch huge canvases.
Southern musical influences became important to me as a teenager when I marched in a traveling drum & bugle corps. After high school, I gravitated toward theatre design and landed a job painting large-scale backdrops in Albuquerque. I graduated from University of Kansas with degrees in Art Education and Studio Art (Textile Design & Painting). Music and theater friends have always been my biggest influences. Thus, the musical subject matter and the bold, large scale.
Lately I’ve returned to the dialog between science and art….viruses, contamination, DNA testing, man versus the planet… all that stuff is showing up on my canvases again in wildly unpredictable 2020.
Over the years, I have worked as a kindergarten teacher, a graphic designer and a technical illustrator, plus raised 3 wonderful children. I also teach creativity seminars, painting workshops, and lead art museum tours. In recent years, we moved around to care for aging parents, then followed our children/grandchildren to new locations. I have become a minimalist in my studio practices, really honing down what is absolutely necessary to create. My studio has been a warehouse, a balcony, and a boat. Sometimes I use oil paint and a french easel, sometimes watercolor in a tiny Altoids tin. In 2017 we settled in Austin Texas. With a dedicated studio. it's back to 4 inch brushes and large canvases.