What are your earliest memories related to art?
When I was in first grade we were given an assignment to create a mock advertising poster with “Smokey the Bear” to help prevent forest fires. My poster was very large and had the caption “Stop — Before It Starts” with Smokey Bear in the middle of the poster with his shovel standing in tall green grass with little bunnies, baby foxes, deer next to him, and little birds in the trees in the background, and even a lady bug on a blade of grass. I used felt pens and colored glitter and my class voted my poster the best.
How and when did you start becoming an artist yourself?
I worked full time after graduating college and always found time to paint on the weekends and in the evenings. I lived in Houston and shared a studio space with two artists. After completion of my first painting I took it to a professional framing business to have an acrylic shadow box placed to protect the 3 dimensional artwork. It was a large art piece 36“x48” gallery wrapped and the selection of acrylic was very expensive. The owner of the frame business had the associate call me and inquire about the painting and wanted the artist’s name as it was not signed. I responded that I painted it, however I explained I had no formal training and did not sign it as I felt only trained artists sign their work. The owner offered to purchase the painting and I accepted and returned to the frame store to finalize the sale and also to sign my first artwork.
What was the evolution like toward finding your current voice and visual vocabulary?
When I first began painting my work resembled animals sketched that one might see on a cave wall painting. My style was very simple and it seemed like a child painted it. I began to study and stretched my style to mix combinations of colors that bring emotion and movement. Most of the paintings have acrylic as main medium and currently I am using pastels to add another layer and visual effect. The way the light reflects off the pastel gives the painting an opaque effect in those areas.
What is your process like?
I place all the paint I plan to use on my studio table similar to collecting the ingredients for a recipe. I prepare a small sketch prior to starting a new canvas to provide a guide of what I want to accomplish on the larger scale.
Is there anything from your artist statement that you wish to expand on, that you normally do not have the chance to discuss?
As previously mentioned a portion of the proceeds from the sale of my artworks go to charity organizations to help people and pets in need. One of my cherished organizations is Pets Fur People, a no kill animal sanctuary in Tyler. A few years ago we adopted a kitten from Pets Fur People and I agreed to be in a television commercial featuring the kitten “Falcon” to promote financial support for the facility and highlight the experience. Falcon became an instant movie star.
What do you try to control in your surfaces, and what do you leave to chance?
When I paint, I do not have any limitations or any areas that I want to control in my work.
Where do you see your work going from here?
My work will continue to evolve to achieve my goal to share great art work with others.