I’ve always been creative. Since a one semester class in high school, where, honestly, I was there for the social aspect, the only painting I’d done had been limited to the walls of my house. In 2000, I saw a painting I loved but I could not afford the $800 price tag. With encouragement from a dear and talented painter & friend, I bought a canvas, a few tubes of acrylic, and some cheap brushes. Painting side by side with my friend in her studio, I received tips, tricks and reassurance. Voila! I painted ‘Socks’. While I found it difficult to fit painting into my life, there was no going back.
Painting became my recreation, my therapy, my happy place.
Painting in pastels started the summer of 2017 after my sweet husband gave me the surprise gift (I thought I didn't want) of a trip to New Mexico and Ghost Ranch. Walking in the footsteps of Georgia O'Keeffe was magical and who knew it would light such a fire inside me? Thank you to Wallace, and to my best buddy Tay who accompanied me on that 'breaking bad' tour.
"A photo from a walk-about, reborn in pastels," are lyrics to 'Silencing the City' , a melody my husband wrote for me and his band the Silent Boys.
My work in watercolor and pen came out of a challenge I accepted from an artist friend the summer of 2019... To practice drawing quickly and working in a medium to that point unexplored by me. I was hooked and got carried away. Numerous series of works spun out of that, '30 Flowers in 30 Days' , 'Buck-robots' , 'Puppy Mugs' & 'Puppy Mugshots' , and "Scooters', 'Flowers in a Jar', 'Garden Diaries' and more. Watercolors, especially when small, are easily portable and I just love this!
logos and music
I come by being a graphic designer by default. I suppose it is to the credit or detriment of my multi-talented husband who has several bands and is a partner in a local music and video recording studio. Since I can barely play chopsticks with 1 finger I found I could help him and the business by creating album covers, promotional posters & T-shirts, business logos and whatever is called for.
We all take pictures. Technology has made it so accessible and simple. Looking back to my earliest photography efforts and sharing photos from a high school trip, I recall my father saying, “All of your pictures are of people. Didn’t you take pictures of anything interesting?”
Hmmmmm. Point of view! I had taken shots of buildings, armaments and landscapes, however, the focal point was always my friends in the foreground.
Sidebar--- I have a nonverbal autistic daughter. When we discovered we could reach her and she could communicate with us using pictures I picked up my 35mm film camera and began taking photos of everything in her world. Thousands of photo ‘flashcards’ were all over my house. Thus we began teaching our nonverbal child to communicate and I began to look at the world through new eyes, eyes that saw objects as the focus.
Currently my cellphone is maxed out with photos as I continue photographing ‘vocabulary’ to add to my daughter’s communication device and people and scenes which inspire me to paint.
Working in mixed media pairs nicely with my penchant for salvaging!
If it's fabric, fibers or yarn I've probably tried creating with it. On one silly afternoon of felting I contemplated using my dog's shed fur (an unlimited and free supply). I am drawn to pretty fabrics and yummy yarn. It pleases me to be able to repurpose moth eaten sweaters and skirts. I find that I work in this medium seasonally, when the weather is cool.
I'm rarely the one to adopt stray animals, but a broken wicker chair, an abandoned dresser, an old bike or window left by the side of the road or sticking out of a dumpster is difficult to pass. I have a brother who as a child always kept a "good for saving" box full of all the treasures for which only he could see value. Now he and I are older and we joke that we have "good for saving" houses...full of treasures too good to throw out. For me, there's just something about reviving, re-purposing, and re-imagining old things.
'Resurrection' is a song my husband wrote after we resurrected 'this old house' in Northside Richmond, Virginia.
Several years after moving in, he recorded and performs the song with his band the Silent Boys.