I was raised in a household filled with art. My father was a fine artist and commercial illustrator, and my earliest memories are of standing beside him at his easel watching him work and asking questions. He often asked for my advice, seemed to take whatever I had to say seriously and always urged me to explore my own artistic interests but he actively discouraged me from pursuing art as a career. I majored in psychology and art history in college instead and worked for many years as an elementary school teacher but I never stopped drawing and painting. Eventually I returned to school to study art. I concentrated in drawing and painting, and received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin in 1984. A fascination with human psychology and the process of learning, and a lifelong love of the natural world have been driving forces in my life and in my art.
Over the years, I have been a classroom teacher, an after school art teacher and an environmental educator, but above all, I have always been a painter. For me, the creative process used in teaching or in making art is similar. As a teacher, I loved discovering how to successfully reach a particular child by building up knowledge layer upon layer through constant evaluation, experimentation and revision. As an artist, I love the process of creating images by building up layer upon layer, constantly evaluating, editing and revising until I discover that a drawing or painting is finished. It is almost a form of meditation. I love the concentrated stillness of making marks on a page or canvas and I love playing with those marks to create interesting layers, texture, and visual energy. Sometimes, my work is pure abstraction; more often it is representational. Always, however, I strive to create exciting and thought provoking visual metaphors and to explore the unique beauty of the natural world. I currently divide my time between painting landscapes in oils and pastels, and producing commission portraits. In my portraits, I try to capture the person behind the image. My landscapes, which I paint either en plein air or from photographs that I take myself, are explorations of the many and varied faces of nature: the changing colors; the changes in terrain, water flow, times of day, seasons and weather; the changing effects of light and atmosphere. Regardless of the subject, I attempt to discover and convey the essence of what I see and I hope that through my work I can help viewers to be open to the incredible beauty and diversity of the world around them.
I have exhibited widely in both juried and invitational exhibitions in Wisconsin, Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia and now in North Carolina including such prestigious galleries as the University of Wisconsin, The Milwaukee Museum of Art’s Bradley Gallery, the Maryland Federation of Art’s Cardinal Gallery of Art, Annapolis, MD and the Goodyear Cottage Art Gallery, Jekyll Island, GA. One-woman shows include two at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia where I was Artist in Residence for a number of years before moving to North Carolina in 2004. I am a member of the Pastel Society of North Carolina and the Visual Arts Exchange in Raleigh, NC, and am represented by the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, Hillsborough, NC and Island Artworks, Ocracoke, NC. My work hangs in private collections across this country as well as in Europe and Asia.
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