What are your earliest memories related to art?
When I was in the first grade, I knew I wanted to be an artist. When I was a junior in high school I received a scholarship to KU (University of Kansas). So, I majored in art in college.
How and when did you start becoming an artist yourself?
What was the evolution like toward finding your current voice and visual vocabulary?
Exciting! That’s the feeling of discovery and wonderment I felt and continue to feel as I explore more techniques. Trial and error is true, as well. Finding the subjects that I love to paint developed, in part, from my early childhood, growing up on a farm in New Mexico. My realism is pretty emotional sometimes in that I use a lot of color. I like to paint anything as long as I’m doing it with shading. Yet, of all my subjects, dancers are my favorite.
I like the movement in dancing, so I concentrate on trying to paint movement. I’ve always loved to dance, since I was a little girl.
My favorite painting is a 2008 acrylic of a cowboy and cowgirl dancing. The painting, “First Embrace,” won best in show in a Carlsbad, New Mexico, art show and also at the Noel-Wagner Museum spring show in Odessa.
In this painting, the young woman is wearing a big colorful skirt. That’s how I got into painting — painting the Spanish dancers, the Mexican dancers. I loved the colorful skirts the cowgirls wore so I started painting the Mexican girls because their dresses show so much movement. I became known for my ability to capture movement with color and shading.
What is your process like?
Complex! How do I explain an idea that becomes a vision, and then a vision that becomes a painting? Of course, I have influences: My love of the Southwest and American West. The various cultures and the history of this region, their traditions, beliefs and lifestyle…all of these components of life in the region gather in my spirit and find a voice through my paintings. I try to honor the people, their lives and traditions in how I portray them. Once I have a ‘vision’ of what I want to capture on canvas, I study the subject, the history and the background, much in the way a novelist does research before writing a book. Then I sketch, then I paint.
Is there anything from your artist statement that you wish to expound on, that you normally don’t have the chance to discuss?
To be continued…
What do you try to control in your surfaces, and what do you leave to chance?
I don’t leave anything to chance…I am too passionate about my subject(s) to do that. I can’t say I have perfection in every painting, but I make every effort to control texture, depth, color, details, proportion, and lighting… all of these need to be in harmony with each other in order for the painting to be finished, (though maybe not perfect).
Where do you see your work going from here?
I would love for my paintings to be as recognized here in my new home of Texas as they were in New Mexico. Texas is an inspiration to me, I am discovering numerous subjects I want to paint!