|What are your earliest memories related to art?|
|I remember covering a page with thick crayon colors of all kinds, covering that with black crayon, then scratching through the black with a toothpick to reveal the color underneath. It was magical!|
|How and when did you start becoming an artist yourself?|
|I began seriously in my late 20s between my first son’s baby and toddler stages. I created my own stitchery designs, embroidered them on stretched fabric, and sold them at art fairs. As I advanced, I moved to creating fabric banners and wall hangings out of old blue jeans, vintage lace and found objects. This led to a show at The Peach Tree in Fredericksburg, TX, where I was paired with a wonderful pottery artist for a two-artist show.|
|What was the evolution like toward finding your current voice and visual vocabulary?|
|A considerable part of my adult life was spent in marketing and graphic design while raising a family. After my husband died in 2013, I left the marketing world to immerse myself in my own art, which served as both grief therapy and energizing agent. It was clear to me that now was the time to follow the dream. I retired in 2015, but took on the new challenge of developing a professional studio practice. Thankfully, I had spent over 30 years in graphic design and marketing, honing skills that would serve me well as an artist.
Since the beginning of 2019, I have focused on figure and portrait painting with a contemporary bent. After several years of creating non-objective abstract work, I responded to the insistent tug at the sleeve to create a new body of work, one that would have at its core the human figure and the universal stories it could tell. They tell of my attempts to understand and explore human relationships and emotion, social awareness and empathy.
|What is your process like?|
|I begin by digitally editing my photographic image, emphasizing contrast and simplifying shapes. The result becomes my reference. I work with acrylic paint on my favorite surface, cradled wood panels. I like their crisp corners, and how they feel like containers holding something mysterious and beautiful. After applying gesso to the panel, I cover it with orange, turquoise, metallic copper or whatever feels right. That layer influences the overall presence of the painting, peeking through gaps to energize the work. Patterned paper scraps or torn vintage maps animate the picture plane. Outlines and the simplification of details lend a symbolic quality to my figures. And scraping paint right across an almost completed work is another technique I use to shift the subject from specific individual to universal archetype.|
|Is there anything from your artist statement that you wish to expound on, that you normally don’t have the chance to discuss?|
|I can’t think of anything, but I’m happy to respond to any questions you may have.|
|What do you try to control in your surfaces, and what do you leave to chance?|
|I maintain control of my panel formats, the textures and my subject matter, but once the drawing is in place, there is a dance between me and the paint. Once I have what appears to be a finished piece, I begin to “mess it up,” as a friend describes this part of my process. It’s a risky blend of planning and randomness. I respond to the randomness with some intention, then I apply more randomness. At this stage, a lot is left to chance until chance and I are partners.|
|Where do you see your work going from here?|
|I want as many people as possible to see my work and be fed by it. I see myself developing the style I am working in so that it’s my own personal signature, recognizable to anyone who has seen it. I have influences, certainly, like David Park, David Bates, Catherine Kehoe, Alice Neel, and others. I want my own version of their distinctive styles. And It wouldn’t hurt to gain income from the sale of my work.|