A child of creative parents, I was taught to sketch by my mom at an early age, learned how to pound nails and cut wood in my Dad's workshop, spent many hours scavenging the neighborhood with my brother for wood and wheels to build go-carts, and learned to paint still life in oils with my Aunt Helen when she visited. My childhood could best be described as a time of constantly thinking up new things to make, and not much has changed.
I studied painting and illustration at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, then worked as a graphic designer for a year before moving to Wisconsin. Before I could find a ‘real job’ as planned, several art fairs produced enough portrait commission and illustration work to pay the bills, and I found myself supported by creating art. I worked primarily in watercolor until an experimental pastel portrait opened the door to a love for bolder color.
Stepping back from deadlines to raise my family, I discovered that creativity is not only something you do, it is who you are. During that time, pastels and watercolors were traded for broken pieces of vintage china and jewelry, glass, rocks and small treasures to work with. I also began to teach art to my own kids which blossomed into classes for other children, and found that I love to teach.
During those years of experimentation I gained an appreciation for abstract art, but for a painter with very traditional training it has been quite a challenge to turn off the detail and the need to make everything look like something. I began to experiment with picassiette—a form of mosaic which uses found objects and broken crockery, which was very different from previous work and stretched my creativity. Repurposed jewelry was inspired by vintage pieces that were part of the ever-growing stash.
My quest to produce abstract work continues, and mosaic has become a wonderful bridge. Pieces of glass and china and found objects do not lend themselves to detail or realism. I discovered that the goal is to learn to play and not work so hard at making art. Mosaic and jewelry have been a happy medium… or bridge for me to loosen up and have fun creating. And finally, after several years of attending workshops, I am beginning to enjoy painting abstract though it's still a bit of a battle.
So. Painting, mosaic, jewelry, or sculpture?
I want to do them all... to experiment and try new things combined with the old.
There are so many possibilities and discoveries,
I will just describe my work as In Process,
and I would like to invite you into the journey.